Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
1-1/4 c. butter softened [2-1/2 sticks]
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. white corn syrup
1/2 c. cold water
5 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
Cook the first 3 ingredients until it thickens.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with the salt until fluffy, add the warm syrup into the yolk mixture and continue beating, add vanilla and continue beating mixture until it cools.
Cream the butter and add to the frosting mixture. If it still seems a bit soft refrigerate.
Image from google images
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
A Christmas Tradition in our home is the serving of a special cake called "Bûche de Noël" at Christmas time.Here's the recipe I use.
5 Eggs separated
1 cup Powdered sugar
3 tablespoon Cocoa
1 cup Whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup confectionery sugar
4 tablespoon Cocoa
Icing:Candies for embellishment
12 oz. semisweet chocolate
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer on high speed. Beat to soft peaks. Gradually beat in cup of powdered sugar. Beat to stiff peaks and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl beat egg yolks on low speed until thick. Beat in a cup of powdered sugar and the 3 Tbsp cocoa at high speed. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg white. Spread in pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.
Invert cake onto powdered sugar coated towel and carefully remove wax paper. Starting at the narrow end, roll towel and cake up. Place seam side down on a wire rack to cool.
To make filling:
Beat all filling ingredients together. Unroll cooled cake. Spread filling and re-roll without the towel.
To make icing:
Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water over medium-low heat, whisking often. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in cream. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until icing thickens, about 4 hours. (Don't refrigerate; it makes icing hard to spread. Ice the cake with the chocolate icing and decorate with chosen decorative embellishments.
Image from google images.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Santon comes from the Provençal word meaning "santoùon", or little saints. Santons usually represent the people of villages in Provence and are generally depicted in 19th-century dress. The original Crèches in Provence date back to the 17th century, at a time when larger nativity scenes were outlawed during the French Revolution. Santons were created and displayed along with biblical figures, to represent everyday people of the village, such as the baker, policemen, fishmonger or local priest, bringing their simple offerings or gifts to Baby Jesus.
The Provençal Santons of today are made from fine clay usually found in the Marseilles and Aubagne of Provence. Two-piece plaster molds are made from original carvings and are filled with the clay for molding. The figures are placed in a kiln for baking, are removed from the mold and painted in great detail using bright colors. In November and December every year, there are Santon Fairs in villages throughout Provence area of France. The original Marseilles Santon fair is still in existence, from the end of November to Twelfth Night (Epiphany).The largest crèche in the world (an official Guinness record) is an 1136 square-meter miniature of a Provençal village, located in the town of Grignan in the Drôme, 10 km west of Valréas, France. Someday I hope to visit in November and pick out a very special Santon for my Creche. The photos that accompany this blog post are from our family Santon Nativity Scene. (If you want a close up view - click on the photos to enlarge).
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
"In France the Tourtiere pie-dish was a kitchen utensil for cooking pigeon and other birds. The contents of the dish were known as ‘piece tourtiere’ and during the first years in New France these distinctive words were used. Over the years the word ‘tourtiere’ came to mean a pate of fowl or game cooked and seasoned according to a special household recipe in the family stew pan, for into it went not merely turtle-doves but every kind of edible bird. Every housewife possessed her own secret recipe, jealously preserved from generation to generation. It was in this way that some venturesome housewives began to prepare ‘pieces tou-tieres’ not only with birds but with the meat of both wild and domestic animals. Such recipes held additional appeal since they provided more filling and sustaining meals." --Daily Life In Early Canada
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a saucepan, combine pork, onion, garlic, water, salt, thyme, sage, black pepper and cloves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils; stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust. Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape. Cover edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, remove foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing. The flavors get better the day after, so it is wonderful for leftovers!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch Process Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together; set aside.
Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy. Add brown sugar,granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla extract; beat for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated (the dough will look crumbly. For the best texture, don't work the dough too much once the flour is added). Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface, divide it in half and, working with one half at a time, shape the dough into a log that is 1 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place on center rack in the oven. Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice rounds that are 1/2-inch thick. Place the cookies on the cookie sheets leaving about 1 inch space between each cookie.
Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but they will finish cooking while cooling. Remove from over and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature, then place on plate. Makes about 36 cookies.
NOTE: This dough can be made ahead and be either chilled or frozen. Wrapped them in an airtight container. The logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month. If the dough is frozen, don't defrost it before baking—just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer. Packed airtight, baked cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create and who we include.Père Henri, Chocolatimage from Google images
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The most widely favored Apéritifs are aromatic wines, which are wines flavored with herbs and other products and fortified with alcohol. Many of the these wines have the bitter tang of quinine. I read somewhere (sorry don't remember where) that historically, Europeans living in the tropics helped to popularize flavored wines when they discovered that quinine (which was the antidote for tropical disease malaria) was more palatable when swallowed with some wine. Eventually, quinine flavored wines became appreciated in their own right for their refreshing bitterness.
Apéritif wines include vermouth (sweet or dry, or a blend of the two), Pineau de Charentes, Byrrh, Lillet, St Raphael, Campari, Dubonnet and Positano just to name a few. Serve straight or over ice-or my personal favorite is chilled Lillet with splash of club soda and a slice of orange. Accompany Apéritifs with snacks such as olives, roasted almonds or nuts, pate, crackers and bread sticks. Enjoy!
History of Spirits
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
salt and pepper
About 1/2 pint (1 cup) whipping cream(or half cream and half regular strength chicken broth)
3/4 cup of shredded Swiss or Gruyère cheese
Spread potato slices evenly in a shallow, 1 1/2-quart casserole and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour in enough cream to barely cover potatoes.
Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Sprinkle with cheese and continue baking for 20 more minutes or until tender when pierced. Makes 4 or 5 servings.
Image from google images
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
A favorite appetizer of mine.
1 small wheel of Brie cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 package almonds, slivered
- spread butter on Brie and top with almonds
- place on an oven-proof plate and bake in a 350 degree oven for a few 10 minutes until browned
- Serve with warm chunks of French bread, crackers and grapes. Bon Appétit!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
French Armistice Day, like Veteran's Day in America, falls on November 11th each year. The day originally marked the end of World War I. In 1954 in American, Congress changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day as a holiday to remember all soldiers killed during a time of war. Click on photo to be taken to an interesting site to view a short film from 1946.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
3 eggs, separated
8 oz chilled whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Let it cool for a couple of minutes.
- Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate
- Whisk the egg whites until very stiff and peaky, then slowly add the sugar, whisking after each addition.
- Gently and slowly fold the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, into the chocolate. Don't fold too quickly as you want to keep the volume of the eggs as much as possible.
- Pour gently into the small bowls or ramekins and put in the fridge for a few hours.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
1 cup (1/2 lb) softened butter (preferably unsalted)
3/4 cup sugar
8 ounces good quality, semisweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier Liquor (optional)
Sweetened whipped creme (optional)
candied violets (optional)
With an electric mixer or food processor, beat butter and sugar at high speed until well blended. Slowly pour in chocolate and continue beating until blended. Still at high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly blended. If desired, mix in liqueur.
Spoon into 8-10 individual dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.
Just before serving, garnish each dish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a candied violet, if desired. Makes 8-10 servings.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
2 1/4 lbs pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large white onion cut in quarters
3/4 cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash of nutmeg
Put the pumpkin and onion in a large soup pot with 4 cups of slightly salted water. Cook slowly, simmering for about 15 minutes or until tender. Using a hand blender, puree the pumpkin and onion with about half the liquid. Blend until a very smooth fine puree. Add 3/4 cup of light cream. Adjust the seasoning according to taste and transfer the soup into a serving pot and keep warm. Just before serving add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a little sprinkling of nutmeg. Pour the soup into 4 individual bowls and serve with warm French Baguette.Bon appetit!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Cheeseburger a la Français
4 hot broiled Beef Patties
1/4 tsp dry basil
4 slices of Swiss Cheese
4 Crusty rolls
slow - cooked onions, hot or reheated
While beef patties are still on rack, sprinkle each with basil, then top with cheese. Cut rolls in half and place on rack alongside patties. Broil until rolls are toasted and cheese is melted. Spread rolls with butter, put a patty into each, and top equally with slow-cooked onions. Serve with mustard. Makes 4 servings.
2 Tablespoons butter
3 large onions, sliced and separated into rings
3/4 cup of Crème Fraiche or sour cream
In a wide frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden (about 20 minutes). Season with salt to taste. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days; reheat to serve. If desired, stir in Crème Fraiche. Makes 4 servings.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
8-inch pie crust
1 lb apples (such as Golden apples)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp cognac or brandy
- Preheat oven to 375° F
- Peel, quarter, cut the apples into thin slices. Toss them in a bowl with 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Arrange them in the pie crust. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then let cool.
- Beat the egg and 1/2 cup of sugar until mixture is light, pale yellow. Beat in the flour, then whipping cream, and finally the brandy. Pour in the mixture over the apples.
- Return to oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and return again to oven for 20 minutes.
- Keep warm until ready to serve. Bon appetit!