Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tomato Baguettes~

My sweet friend lent me her book My Bread~ I had made his no knead bread before~

But with the book in hand it inspired me to make plain baguettes..

.. and little tomato baguettes~

Both are delicious..My family and friend said so:)

If you have not tried his method.. I think you should..the air bubbles are plentiful and the crust sublime..I used his basic recipe for both..

For the tomato ones.. you simply press slices of cherry w/ thinly sliced garlic..evoo and thyme..I like these the best looks wise:)

La Recette~
No-Knead Bread
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

I use 1 3/4 cups of water and do need to add a tbsp or 2 for the desired consistency~

To shape baguettes divide dough ball in 4.. stretch to fit a 13x18 oiled pan..I baked at 475 Convection ap 20 mins.

The plain baguettes are just as good.. and the air bubbles are exquisite..Tunnels in some places:)
I watched a wonderful DVD set.. of 2..a gift to Jacques from me..Josee Di Stasio in France.. she goes to Provence and Paris..Clothilde Dusoulier is featured..and the best breaadbaker in Paris..They mention the necessity of a crisp crust and many air bublles:)

I like this bread fresh to be truthful:)

It is EXCELLENT fresh.. but reheated..? Not as much for us~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Soul Food #83~

Sewing mends the soul. ~Author Unknown

A little like gardening..reading and baking~

I had saved an old Martha Stewart magazine..I went through it and ripped out the instructions for ribbon embroidery..

I have finished making all the needlepoinnt stockings for our family....and when I saw this I thought it might be fun..You combine your floss or wool with ribbon..and you are on your way..
I have just begun..and it's so pleasant~

You can make preserve covers..

and even journal covers..the little possibilities are endless.

I think I need more ribbon:)

I think it would be fun to add jewels etc..
I must get Googling to learn more..
I think many of you would like doing this if you have not tried I said this magazine is not new:)
I loved crewel work as a young mom..filled our home with the projects..then needlepoint..thanks to Jain..
these are quick little projects that are easy to personalize.

It would be nice on old linen..old napkins etc..
I used aida cloth.
Had to buy a new ring..where or where are my loved old ones?:(
Only heaven knows at this point~

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It's a staple here...pasta..all forms.. sometimes ...more intricate..sometimes easy..

Jacques uses his Jamie Oliver pasta pot and cooks the pasta..while I am in charge of the sauces.. he chose shrimp pasta.. and made his own in a cazuela in the oven and poured on his pasta..
I chose lemon oil.. tuna.. garlic and french shallots..
It's so easy..I use my hot spicy ingredient~

I bought it in Italy and hope I never run out..
It reminds me so much of that trip..
Le voyage extraordinaire de ma vie avec Jacques.

We watched Eat Pray Love again one night last week.. Ahh..Roma:) And Julia♥..
Lest we forget Javier♥ And Bali~

It is really so easy to make a comforting meal in no very little cost.
I love homemade meals..And they don't have to be fancy..ever.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Soul Food #82~

Texture..I think courtesy of J Sistah~Thank you~

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dorie's Lemon Tart ~A special~tea..

There's something about lemons.. and sweet dough.. and tea..special teas:) that warm the ♥

That little lavender hued set is so special to me..A friend of my mom's made it for her..Louise Skully..It's Mother Of Pearl..iridiscent in person..and just so sweet..I gather this little trio set is at least 60 yrs old~I treat myself with it for special days.

I made the tart for Jacques this weekend.. and it just happened to go so well with a chamomile and lemon tea I received as a special gift~
Here is the recipe..I love the tartness of it..very different from my other lemon tarts..
Of course everything she makes is wonderful~

La Recette~

Dorie Greenspan's Tartest Lemon Tart
1 1/2 lemons, scrubbed and dried
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 lare egg yolks, room temp
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 9-inch tart shell made with Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough partially baked and cooled

Whipped cream, creme fraiche or confectioners' sugar for garnish

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place tart pan on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat.

Slice whole lemon in half and pull out seeds from it and the half. Then cut lemons into small pieces.

Filling is best made in a blender, but you can use a food processor. Take care to work ingredients until they are smooth and to scrape down sides of bowl often. Put lemons and sugar in blender or processor and pulse, blend and scrape down sides until you have smooth mix. Add remaining filling ingredients and pulse and blend until filling is homogeneous. Rap bowl on counter several times to de-bubble filling as much as possible, and pour it into partially baked crust.

Very carefully--tart shell will be full--transfer baking sheet to oven. Bake 20 minutes, then increase oven temp to 350 degrees F and bake tart for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. (total time is 45 to 50 minutes). Don't be alarmed when filling starts to bubble up. (It might even bubble over edge of tart--that's okay.) When tart is properly baked, it shuld be set, although perhaps still shaky in center, and most of top will have formed a light sugary crust.

Transfer tart pan to cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Chill, if you'd like, before serving with cream or dusting of confectioners' sugar.

I used her sweet crust pastry recipe that I love to bits~

The dough..

La Recette~

Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sablée)
From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.

Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in--you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.
Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses--about 10 seconds each--until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.
Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change--heads up.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and , very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
To press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked.
Don't be too heavy-handed--press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To partially or fully bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust.
(Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet to bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For a partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooking rack (keep it in is pan).

To fully bake the crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. (Keep a close eye on the crust's progress--it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash). Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To patch a partially or fully baked crust, if necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the baked crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just to that the rawness off the patch.

Storing: Well wrapped, the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months I (Dorie), prefer to freeze the unbaked crust in the pan and bake it directly from the freezer--it has the fresher flavor. Just add about 5 minutes to the baking time.

And Voilà~ C'est tout!
P.S. The tea service/set was also my mom's~Perhaps even my grandmother's~
When people leave too does the history~

Silver is a lot of work.. wether silver plated or real..
You have to polish a few times a year..
I have never not liked this attention to these pieces and the work my hands do to keep the pieces part of my history..

I actually think dearly of my mom..when I hold and polish the same pieces she once held and polished..
Routines like this are soothing to the soul..and lead to calmness..and memories~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Soul Food #81~

A different kind of soul food~How nice was this?

My husband saw a program with someone making poached eggs..the right way w/ vinegar etc..

One Tuesday.. he said why don't I make us some for lunch..

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Funnily enough..I find this quote suits this soul food:)

He made them perfectly..he picked the plates..did the plating.. All I did was take a few photos and enjoy.
What a lovely little pretty delicious treat.See why I say they are the best?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bon Appétit and Bonne Fête~

I do..I love my daughters To The Moon And Back~

One of them ..just turned 34.. our youngest~

Where did the time fly? She has 3 boys of her own now.. 5,3 and 1..

We got together for dinner.. fajitas and chili and nachos etc..
Everyone enjoyed everything..We were at our other daughter's home.. she also made a huge cute heart shaped cookie full of smarties for the boys..I said that's so cute what's the recipe? She said you buy a can of pre-made dough and lay it out heart shaped.. I thought it was so cute..She cracked me up..Her answer was quick and witty!

That was for the kidlets..
I was in charge of the adult dessert..
I made a cake that caught my eye in the February 2011 issue of BA..

It was good according to my family..I decorated it w/ fresh chocolate sprinkles and Jacquelines' little chocolate cups from Chocolate Purple Home..I didn't have raspberries so used quarters of fresh Strawberries..

And here is the recipe ..courtesy of BA~

Cocoa Layer Cake
10 servings
PREP TIME: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours (includes chilling time)
Recipe by Alice Medrich

1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 cup lukewarm water, divided
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups cake flour (spooned into cups to measure, then leveled)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
special equipment
3 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 11/2-inch-high sides
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper rounds; butter parchment. Whisk cocoa and 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 1/2 cup water in another small bowl. Sift flour, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter in large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy (mixture will appear granular), about 5 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add beaten eggs, then beat until smooth and fluffy, about 15 seconds. Add cocoa mixture; beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating to blend after each addition. Divide batter among pans (about 1 3/4 cups each).
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, reversing pans halfway through baking, about 18 minutes. Cool completely in pans on racks.
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, and 1/2 teaspoon (scant) salt. Gradually stir in cream. Stir until mixture is very hot and just begins to simmer at edges. Reduce heat to low; stir 1 minute to let flavors blend. Transfer to medium bowl; stir in vanilla (frosting will resemble chocolate sauce). Chill until just thickened, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand at room temperature.
Run knife around cake sides. Carefully invert 1 cake onto plate (cake is very tender); peel off parchment. Spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Invert second cake onto palm of hand. Position cake 2 inches above frosted cake layer. Carefully slide cake onto first cake layer. Peel off parchment. Spread cake with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Do AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; let stand at room temperature.
Cut into wedges and serve.
I'll put my thinking cap on soon for our other daughter's 36th birthday..
Vraiment..le temps semble passer si vite.. quand nous regardons nos enfants~

Thank you Jacqueline.. Delicious little cups~

Not baking very much lately..busy:)

So posts may be less..
Have a great rest of week~

Monday, March 7, 2011

Soul Food #80~

“"Style" is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. "

Part of a John Fairchild quote

Some pull it off admirably:)
Hat= Batman
Neckwarmer=Souris Mini..I think..
Jeans =Old Navy
Art=Original..his dad ...
I truly admire his sense of style..he is 3 and loves wearing a tie with almost everything these days.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stone Gable Scones~

Sooo Good..and guess what? After all the ones I have made.. Jacques likes these moist:) That's right ..he loves a moister scone..I've always made butterier..drier..lemony ones..

Who'd a thought? He ♥ these..Keeper recipe..
I made them the night before..put them in our frigid cold room on their baking sheet and baked in the am..No fuss no muss.. like a treat someone else made for us..
We had Cassis Jam..Honey.. Quince Jam..
They are delicious Yvonne!

It makes 16..just the right size scones for us..(I sound like Goldilocks..)we had 2 each..

La Recette~
Sour Cream Scones
2 cups flour
3 TBS sugar
2 TBS baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 TBS butter, cubed
1 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sanding sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the cubed butter until a coarse meal forms. Pulse in the sour cream and egg yolk until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together into a ball.

Gently pat the dough down into a 3/4 inch thick square shape.
With a large knife cut the dough square into 4 smaller, equal squares.

Then cut each smaller square diagonally, with an X, making 4 smaller triangles.
Transfer the 16 triangles onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of each scone with heavy cream and sprinkle it with sanding sugar. This will create a shiny and crunchy top for the scones.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes until the bottoms of the scones are light brown.

Remove from oven, cool slightly on the sheet pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
They are so good..Have I said that? I made them again today..Tuesday.. w/ tea perfect treat.

Thank you Yvonne~