Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tea Time~Et Sablés Bretons~

Prettiest Indian Summer ever right?
The weekend was like a trip down south...I am just about to publish this post w/ the windows open and a nice breeze at my back after a really warm delicious day~
Every breath I took..I thought..take it all in.. soon this will be a memory you look forward to~

I love occasional cup of coffee too..but for some reason tea makes me less jittery.
Imagine my surprise when TeaVivre asked me if I would like to sample some of their teas.
Someone must have told them how often I talk about teas here..
In the offering..there was no asking to do a return of favor..just..would I like to sample some teas.
I did tell Alison I would mention their I had sampled a couple before..from Ann T..
And that I enjoy them very much.
She even asked if the selection she made for me was agreeable and I mentioned I prefer greens..whites..flavored..blooming teas.So she subbed some blacks..and put in my preferences..

The loveliest assortment came to my post office from TeaVivre..the packaging is fresh and the teas..
My first taste was the Organic Superfine Dragon Well Ling Jing Green Tea..

Tea is always better w/ a treat..a childhood friend was in France and sent me an email :) At about the same time..I decided to make ..

 these again~

You should not mess with perfection right?:)
I seem to make them a lot..and often with variations..
I would like to try these next..

But stuck to my faves..

La recette~

150 grams butter
250 grams of sugar
3 eggs
 250grams self rising flour
250 grams reg,flour
pinch of salt

Cream butter and sugar until white and glistening..
add eggs one at a time
add vanilla
sift the flours and add them to the creamy mixture
Until it forms a nice homogenous dough that you shape into a ball..
I used my KA for all of it.
Wrap in cling and refrigerate for ap 8 hrs.
After the resting period roll out to 2 mm and cut w/ cookie cutter of your choice and palce on a cookie sheet that you have put parchment paper.
Make a glaze w/ a pinch of salt,1 beaten egg and one tbsp of liquid caramel..
glaze twice letting dry between each coat..
take the tines of your fork and make impressions
Bake at 220 CELCIUS until golden..abot 10 minutes..if you want them drier leave 1 or 2 minutes more..
Place on

I use this liquid caramel can use a dark cor syrup as I have in the past.

I made half the fills one Bonne Maman jar.
And your home will smell divine.
Beware.. when adding the cold water..I took it off the stove.. and held it at arm's length the whole splatters boiling hot sugar syrup ~

You need
1 tbsp vinegar
500grams superfine sugar
12.5 cl of water
and additional 25 cl of cold water
Mix first 3 ings in a pot for the stovetop.. cook vigorously  ap 15minutes until it starts to become blond..
******** see note above..  reduce the heat..gently add the remaining 25 cl of cold water..
cook vigorously one minute more.
And there you have it.

They are lovely with tea..

My friend sent me a photo of the Eiffel Tower..she was spending  2 weeks in France..mostly Paris and Normandy~
She is back now..but it was fun  hearing about  my friend whom I met when  I was 10..being in Paris..
It's a long way from Versailles Gardens..:)
That's where we grew up:)..  How appropriate n'est-ce-pas?
Not the French ones though  ...a suburb of the 60's.
I was happy for her..♥
And grateful to Tea Vivre for my generous assortment of teas.
I love loose leaf teas..there's beauty in every leaf.

Thanks TeaVivre..that was receive such a nice prepare it..taste it..
Wonderful teas.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins~ and Spooky things:)

Every time I try a new muffin at Les Moulins Lafayette ..that I fall in love with..I try and recreate it..This time I only had to try 2 recipes and on the second one..I found my perfect Lemon Poppyseed Muffin.
It's sooo close..  in my mind it's spot on.
It is from Cook's Illustrated.

A neat thing about this that you can whip up a batch..put them in a muffin tin..cover with cling and refrigerate unbaked..They say so!
So I will make these for Christmas morning I am thinking:)

On a side note..this the in one of our 100 yr old maple trees..
It's spooky and in trying to get a photo I stumbled in some brambles..ouch..

We will wait till December and frost..
No one should be w/out a home..
Plus I am scared.
After 2 bites this September and one swelling and itching for days w/ a bruise still.. 2 weeks later...I am in no mood to mess with nature..

Scratch scratch..

I had to show you Noah..His name is Noah Jack.. ..he's our 6 year old~
Look what he and his mom are coming up with for his Halloween costume.
His face:)  Just cracks me up on this..
This is not Noah's face usually..he's got a twinkle in his eye and mischief on his face..
This is Jack Skellington's face.
Somehow I think Noah will be a chef..or and actor.
I pray for a doctor or dentist..
But so far..
He's a foodie and an actor.♥
LOVE this costume his mom is fabricating for him.

Ok back to the muffins:)

La Recette~

3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tbsps poppy seeds
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsps butter room temp
1 cup sugar(brown works too)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain whole milk yogurt (I have used greek..and also sour cream)
the latter makes the very best..moistest♥

Prep your muffin tin either with spray or muffin cups like I use.I love those big ones.

A silicone mold should work very well too.They are amazing.
Whisk the flour,baking powder,baking soda,salt,poppy seeds,lemon zest together in a bowl.
Using an electric mixer..beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Reduce mixer speed and beat in half the flour mixture  followed by 1/2 of the yogurt...beat in half of the remaining flour mixture followed by half the remaining yogurt ..repeat w/ remaining flour and yogurt.

Place the batter evenly in your prepared muffin pan
Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and bake in a 375F pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes until done and golden.

If you are doing the refrigerated version remove cling and bake 35-40 mins.
Let muffins cool in pan for 5 mins before serving.

You could add a glaze or icing but I like these just like that.Plain on top.
There is nothing plain taste wise about these muffins..
Red wrappers would be so pretty for Christmas:)

So I hope you heard right..sour cream for the best..
And the day after..nuke for like 12 seconds to get the warm just baked effect..
Need to find red wrappers..How many more shopping days till Christmas?
Costco has everything out! Christmas AND Halloween.
I still haven't planted my garlic or bulbs.

Supposed to be LOVELY for the next few the gardens will get some primping for fall starting tomorrow..
Bon Weekend~


I love this dish..It's pretty..tasty..
Made it tonight.. I got the recipe from my daughter last year.It is spot on for Acorn squash season.
I used Hot Italian sausage.
Also pre~ordered this~ today..I really like all the recipes I have tried from her.
I don't buy a lot of cookbooks anymore..

I do love My Isabelle Lambert books..Chuck Hughes.. Maria LOCAL experts:)
But I do cave in for tried and trues..

I may get Dorie Greenspans new book because I love the ones I have..but was disappointed the cute dishtowel would not be shipped to Canada.I mean ..pourquoi pas?

Manger..looks her blog is..

So temptations do abound..

The Bake at 350:)  You know me and cookies..


What talented people !

Monday, September 22, 2014

God gave us memories so we may have roses in December~

The last day of summer~ Sunday..was grey grey grey and drizzly..before the drizzle,I brought in a bouquet of my last fairy Roses..

And made some rose cookies..

                And painted a quick  tablescape~

I loved that quote ..God gave us memories so we may have roses in December~

It's so true and can apply to so many things~ so many connotations.

I had Pinned  these beautiful and delicious cookies that I found  HERE..A lovely blog..Torta Della Figlia~  ok..:) try here ..
And somehow knew I would post them with my last just know when your roses are the last..the last hurrah..the little brown specks..the fading blooms..
The ones that are left will be evanescent~

I took advantage of immortalizing them:)
And am sharing her delicious cookie recipe~

Luckily she has a translate button for many of her recipes..

This recipe makes 2 pans she said..
so I halved it and made 1 pan..which is more than enough for  a few days for Jacques and I.
This is a perfect cookie to go along with a cup of tea or coffee.

It's just delicious..and tastes like  little fancy  Euro pastry shop cookie and looks like one.

La Recette

For the full recipe..

450-500grams of flour
4 egg yolks
1 egg
300grams of butter..I use salted
favorite marmalade
200 grams caster sugar

vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste)

Preheat oven to 320-338F
Combine every ing together (except the marmalade)
I creamed room temp butter with the sugar and paste..then the egg yolks and egg then the flour.
Form together into a nice dough
On a foured work surface..roll out dough to ap. 3mm.
Cut out circles ap-7-8 cms..

Then go see her step by step tutorial:)

Take 2 circles and place with their sides overlapping each other.
Place marmalade in the middle of each circle then add a middle circle and again add your marmalade.
Roll one side to the center and then roll the other side over.
Cut in get 2 roses.
Place on a prepared baking sheet (Parchment) and bake for 15-20 mins.
You can also dust with icing sugar when done..

They taste like something I had so many many years ago..and I cannot remember where..perhaps in someone's home..They were delicacies..

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Lovely New Cookbook~

A Lovely New Cookbook~  TARTE

I have spoken of Isabelle Lambert many times on my may remember when I spoke of


It was my honor to find her newest book on my doorstep from the publishers of her latest chef-d'oeuvre~

This book is a great's a beautiful book filled with a plethora of gorgeous photos and 100 pie recipes.
From sweet to salty to savoury.

From apples to quiches to tourtière.

ONE HUNDRED  pie recipes..

I am inspired by this book like I was with Citron.
It is the kind of book that makes you want to be in the kitchen..and try your hand at everything she has made.

The very next day of receiving the book.I completed 2 of her recipes.
I had everything on hand ..except apples ..and Jacques made it his pleasure to go get some:)
Have I told you that I love to bake for him?

I made her Apple-Cane Sugar  Pie , pictured above.
It's so much fun to make..
A delicious base is made..and inserted into a pastry ring. (on my wish list) I used the ring from my springform pan w/out the bottom..
An apple compote is spread over the crust and then apples are circled around with cane sugar etc.
You can tell when it's done cause your house smells like heaven on earth♥
You can use your torch to finish caramelizing if your apples are not  caramelized enough.
C'est joli comme tout et appétissant.
Jacques gave it a 10.

I also made the Tomato Feta Tart pictured above..we had that one for lunch (déjeuner)..
Did you know that breakfast in France is le Petit-Déjeuner? And that lunch is déjeuner?And supper ..dîner?
So yes for lunch we had that savoury delicious tart/pie.
Look how beautifully it seperates from the tart tin after baking.
The crust itself is so different..that's another thing I love about this book..the different crusts!
This one has thyme..flour..lemon..corn meal..
Add feta and roasted tomatoes with evoo and garlic etc..
And well it's gotta be one of the best little lunches:)
In the preface of her book..Isabelle does not frown upon buying crusts that are pre-made.
But I had fun trying her recipes and will continue.
She shares her dough recipes and methods too.

Isabelle is from France but has lived in Québec for ap 12 years.
I have Isa's approval  to share her recipes..she said recipes are meant to be shared..
My philosophy exactly! And a few of all of you that an oxymoron?:)
She is the author of at least 4 very popular cookbooks that I know of..Les Gourmandises d'Isa..Pomme..Citron..and this latest one Tarte.

I'll start with her..

Tarte aux tomates cerises et au fromage féta~
Cherry tomato and feta tart~

You will need a 9 inch tart pan.With removeable bottom.

Corn meal crust

1 cup of flour
1/2 cup  corn meal
2 tsps fresh chopped thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cubed cold butter
3 tbsps ice water
2 tsps lemon juice..


4 cups of cherry tomatoes..or grape tomatoes..whole
4 tsps olive oil
1 finely chopped garlic clove..(I used a new one  home grown from my friend in Ontario....)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/4 cup crumbled feta (I love the one in a jug at Costco,already crumbled.Stodikakis

In a food processor..mix flour..corn meal..thyme and salt....add the butter.. with on off.. pulse until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs..Without stopping the machine add the water and lemon juice until the dough starts to come together..On a floured surface..shape into a ball..then flatten.Wrap in cling wrap and ref.30 minutes up until 2 days..(Great to make ahead!)
Let it come to room temp before continuing the recipe..
On your floured workspace..roll out the dough to fit your pre buttered removeable tart pan..Prick all over the base with a fork..refrigerate 30 minutes..
Pre~ heat oven to 400 F.
Cook the crust on the lower shelf ap 18-20 minutes or until it becomes golden.
Put on a cooling rack..
But leave the oven ON.
The a glass dish..13x9  ..mix tomatoes..oil.. garlic..s and p..Bake middle of the oven..30 minutes or until the tomatoes start to darken and shrivel.
Spread the Dijon on the cooked tart shell..Sprinkle half the with the tomatoes..sprinkle the rest of the cheese.
Place back in the oven for 15 minutes or until the filling is warm.
Top with fresh thyme~

This dish may be served warm..or room temp.
It's really good.

♥ Bravo Isabelle..un livre superbe avec les plus bellles recettes de tartes possible!

Bon Weekend~

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ratatouille and Sunflowers~

While the sunflowers finally bloomed..the rain came..I mad good use of the time with preserving a few things..and making dinners that took advantage of veggies in Fred's garden and Jean Talon's garden..
One of my favorite dishes is this old Epicurious recipe I started making so many years ago..Ratatouille with Penne..
It's so delicious..all you need is extra parm on top after you serve and you are in roasted veggie heaven

Here is the recipe~
I have been making it since 1999 and can't believe there are only 3.5 stars.
It is so delicious..Maybe some don't taste as they go along..or don't add enough parm at serving..
Beacause it is more than 3.5:)

The other thing we enjoyed with the eggplants..were  these..I could have just eaten those..we were having fish..I did add Italian Seasonings to the panko..The author says even adding seasonings to the eggs is a good idea;)
Eggplant baked fries..delicioso:) sunflowers are struggling with less sunshine and cooler temps..but his?♥

Noah came home from school last June..his teacher had given the students tiny little plants to plant at his home....
I would say his project turned out even better than mine:)

Friday, September 12, 2014

I feel like~

I was just posting about Spring:( And Max was turning 7..
I don't even want to mention the F word..although I ♥ it..
It's just the after Christmas months of our long winters I find a tad harrowing.
Whatever ebullience I muster in May- June  through till November..
pales..soooo much come mid~ January..and by March ..well ..oh lala.
I do weather it all and keep busy..but sweaters and socks and flannel and duvets and boots and heating..get so  tired  by then.
I live in flip flops in summer...except when gardening..and from now on never on my bicycle..Try stopping abruptly with your foot like when we were know with the toes under,foot backwards..with flip flops..don't...your toe polish is sure to come off w/out help..and your skin will not thank you for it.

There are not enough layers on my feet and hands come winter to keep warm.

And time did not stand still this summer..after Max turned 7..Noah turned 6..then Lucas turned 9..
And last but not least..September 8th..Oli turned 5.
They are all in school now..(See a sweet school story below..)
All 4.. all day..
3 of them on the same bus..same school..

Up above..Oli..who really missed his mommy at she drew a Happy Face on his wrist and said..:"If you miss me..look's me smiling at you♥"
In that photo..he is  in the car going out to lunch with us..every birthday boy..makes our day by coming to lunch with us..and then if they haven't had a true wish list..we go shopping and they can pick..Jacques is the chauffeur for the smaller boys that sit in the that case I sit in the back too.
The bigger boys,,can sit in the front w/ grandad..
and I still sit in the back:)
He wore his crooner hat that I love and his retaurant shoes:)♥That were Noah's..
They just make my heart beat.

Baking and cooking changes too.. time does not stand still for ice cream and popsickles and fresh fruits.. I have already noticed a twist.

With Pies.. They become  less fresh blueberryish and strawberry to all apple..
Like this  one we love..

Brown Bag Apple Pie~ Kim's Mom's Pie~

La Recette..

7 cups of prepped apples
2 tbsps flour
1/2 cup sugar
squeeze some lemon

toss with cinnamon and cardamom to taste..

Put in a pie shell..
Top with this crumb topping:

1/2 flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

I do what Kim does and double the topping..

Place in a brown paper bag close it and place on a cookie sheet bake for 1 hr in a preheated 425 degree oven

I have shared this pie recipe before..but a long time ago..hope you don't mind a repeat.

This time I made Ricardo's crust for the bottom and it is a keeper.. I used my hands.

Thank goodness for ALL hydrangeas this time of year..
They keep the gardens ALIVE~
As do Dahlias~ And Turtleheads~

Have to share this story with you..
I follow Val's blog..she writes so such a charming young woman.
Reading her post just made me more admiring of this young woman..
Go See..


All the natural sweetness you need in any recipe..she has it.

We went to Jean Talon market yesterday..picked up so many wonderful things..
A plethora of veggies for pickling and roasting ..making spaguetti sauce..and ratatouille..
It's lovely time of year to be in the kitchen..the light..the cooler air~

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Garlic~ De l'Ail~ A little outing~

Garlic..not an herb nor a spice~

Garlic..we love it~
Always have~
I had read ..heard about too..a Garlic farm just up the road..s a the town we once lived in for a long lovely time~
A young couple  ..charming young couple,started growing garlic on  a most beautiful spot..
Idyllic, bucolic  setting..I have driven up and down that road for 40 years..
They were not even born..:)
Anyways the garlic has been getting quite the publicity lately as one of our best restos uses only their garlic.. and they have been on the news..
I saw an ad saying their farm would be open to the public Labor Day weekend..the Sat and Sun 8-5..
Saturday around 10.30 I decided to go..(last weekend)~
You can't miss it ..even though the property is a little hidden..the sign said it all.
I love the place.♥.there's an old barn..their pretty home..the cute potting shed you see in the photos..and a view..what a view.
The set up was really cute..and people were in line..
To my surprise all the garlic braids were of 8 AM people started coming..
She said she was so happy to see all the cars~I told her that every year there would be more and more..
CHARMING young woman and her equally charming partner.
Such a lovely can tell close to the earth..
I asked for suggestions which he graciously gave..I have some for roasting..some for every day use and some for my next spaguetti sauce~
I asked if I could take a few pics with my point and shoot..
"Of course" they said..
I loved the 2 chairs w/ the bouquet looking over one of their fields.Utterly romantic.

The garlic is prettily's beautiful..clean..cared for.
I will definitely return next year for more..
Ad guess what?
They sold it ALL the Saturday!  SOLD OUT..No Sunday..
So glad I went the Saturday:)

Friends of ours grow garlic too ..and it is delicious.
They think we can grow some too..
In the mail was a generous sampling of their glorious big bulbs..with a sweet note.
They garden profusely..she preserves so many things..they live on the water in Ontario..and I think their earth is blessed.
I have now seen photos of their gardens and they are unbelievable.
So come October..we will be planting a few bulbs to see if our soil can do it.

The first thing I made was that pasta we all favor..

Where we marinate chopped tomatoes or halved..with loves of Evoo..loads of basil..garlic..chrushed chili peppers if you wish..salt and pepper..
You can even add rosemary and oregano..whatever you love..capers..etc..
Let that mixture sit in the sun or all day in a nice toasty summer house..
Then simply add your cooked pasta to the bowl..mix..while adding a generous helping of parmesan cheese.
Nothing could be easier.
I never have to add cooking liquid.I have sufficient oil and the juice from the tomatoes to make the sauce.
Adding crushed croutons makes a nice finish~
I originally posted that recipe here..

Just add your cooked hot pasta to the above:)

The next thing I made came from Debbie at Mountain Breaths..So easy..and so good..

Tranches d'aubergine..Italian style~
I could have eaten every disk..but I had to they were dinner..
Even room they became,they were just as flavorful.
I love little outings..seeing different things..appreciating someone's passion..s.

And my small bed is now ready for my October garlic planting:)
I was ruthless and pulled out a huge hosta..and some blue lilies.. loads of forget me nots and mint..left only the blueberry will be the anchor there.
Fingers crossed.
It will give me something to anticipate..our own garlic.

Last night..after I hit publish on this post..I persude blogs I go to occasionally..
Interestingly I found Ina had posted about the sauce this summer..If you need a precise recipe..:
Here is lovely Ina.'s version.