Desserts and cookies

French Chocolate Pot de crème

By on July 8, 2017

chocolate pot de creme

Chocolate Pot de crème. French dessert? French name? This sounds fancy! Don’t you feel that it will impress a crowd? If anything, it will please a crowd and that’s actually the most important. I truly think you can go wrong with chocolate, any season, any time of the day, any gender, any age, it’s a magic word!

Cho-co-lat.

Ouh lala! Also, a pot de crème is the cousin of the crème brûlée and the brother of la crème aux oeufs.

Not only it’s the decadent dessert you’ll want to do again soon as you bring the first spoon to your mouth but also because it’s so simple you’ll want to make a ‘pot de crème’ to your loved ones and use your sexy French accent.

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Meatless | Soup

Soupe au pistou, a French summer soup

By on June 12, 2017

Summer is discretely pushing Spring away and May’s showers are already forgotten! We can now enjoy dinners on the patio, backyard BBQs and outdoors games with the kids. Did you already get a little sun kissed? Do you feel how time is nicely slowing down as we are enjoying our down time outdoors with our loved ones?

The recipe & the elephant in the room

You know what else is amazing in summer? Veggies. Oh boy, do they taste better. So, I have this soup recipe for you and I guarantee you will fall in love with it!

Can I convince you?

  • It is an explosion of flavors. You will not be able to deny it.
  • This dish is healthy
  • It’s easy to prepare and your guests (or family) will be impressed
  • And, it’s French! Ah, do I need to say more? Mouhahahhaa!

The recipe

Speaking about this dish brings me back to my childhood. I can still remember the first time I had it… It was a late Saturday night, we were eating outside on the terrace of some friends, the sky was filled with stars and crickets and cicadas were all singing together.  Although, nights in the South of France can sometimes be fresh but you don’t always put a cardigan on, you just want to enjoy your body cooling down from the hot day. So the soup actually works perfectly for your upcoming summer evenings.

More precisely, this pot is filled with 3 types of beans, carrots, potatoes and at the end a handful of pasta. The pistou then will enhance all the dish.

Of note, the key to this successful dish is mainly in a pistou rich in flavor. Therefore, you will need a ridiculous amount of basil = a whole plant. The paste that you will create with the leaves, the garlic and the olive oil will just marry to perfection your gently simmered vegetables.

Basil. Oh and basil!

Also, the elephant in the room:

Yes, I decided to squeezed a new recipe after over a year of hiatus. Why not?  I definitely will do a post regarding this long silence. I want to tell you why I stopped and why it took me so long to come back. As much as I love blogging and all that goes with it, this break help me to understand why I wanted to blog.

Anyway, we  chat! If you are a blogger, you might have gone through this time of doubts and silence. Nonetheless, I am back and so is summer. All you need to worry about is to get the necessary ingredients for this soup as it will not disappoint.

Soupe au pistou, a French summer soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: For 6 persons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of carrots diced
  • 3 cups of navy beans
  • 3 cups of sweet snap peas
  • 3 cups of green beans
  • 1 cup of potatoes diced
  • 1 cup of pasta (shell or macaroni shape)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 cup (packed) of basil leaves
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, put the carrot, navy beans, sweet snap peas and green beans. Add the salt. Fill with water to the top. Bring it to a simmer and leave for an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the garlic, wash the basil leaves and place it in the food processor along with the tomatoes and the olive oil. Set aside, you have your pistou.
  3. Add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes. Then, add the pastas and cooked as required on the package.
  4. Now, add your pistou and stir. Your soup is ready, you can add some shredded emmental on top after serving.

Notes

At the beginning of the recipe, you can cook some bacon and add it to the 3 beans in the pot. It will add some flavor.

Some versions of the Pistou soup can include some zucchinis. It is a great addition, you can add 2 or 3 diced at the same time than the potatoes.

http://bonappeteat.ca/2017/06/12/soupe-au-pistou-french-summer-soup/

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About

8 things to do to feel like it’s summer in Provence

By on September 7, 2015

Last day before back to school? Let’s talk about vacations…. I am all emotional that my baby is going to SK so let’s change the conversation, right?

As the summer is wrapping up, I want to enjoy the last bit of sun on my skin, a few more outdoor meals but most of all, keep that warmth in my heart that I brought back from France.

We went to the South, in Provence, for 2 weeks and it was hot, relaxing and full of love. The children enjoyed every little bit of their trip. French vacations for the win!
Summer in Provence 1 – Eat like every day is your last day: To a certain extend… Stay healthy and moderate. BUT do not think that certain things are to be eaten or drunk on special occasion. TODAY is special! We were in France with our family, it was amazing. Needless to say that (cough) our pants shrank under the sun!  But we ENJOYED!

2 – Eat local, fresh and seasonal: Fresh strawberries from the garden for breakfast? YES! Biting in a juicy tomato in the garden? YES! It is tastier and kids snaked on beautiful crops. Enough said.

3 –  Have an apéritif: See #1, today is special, have a nice glass of wine with your loved one, a fresh beer. Stay safe, don’t drive. Cheering to awesome vacations! Santé! Special recommendation: Pineau des Charentes, Pastis. Ma favs.

Summer in Provence

4 – Sit back and relax: Watch the kids playing, feel the breeze and do nothing. Don’t think about chores, bills and work. Gone! Chill, you need it! I know it’s hard to apply, I do try my best though to just unplug.

5 – Break the kid’s routine: It’s okay to put your kids to bed later than usual. Hopefully, they’ll sleep later the next morning. Mine do.  Routine is important but letting things go feels good sometimes.

Summer in Provence

6 – Sit together at the table: it is a family moment that French are serious about!  Eat together, talk and share about your day, your friends.  I’m very particular about that one, we do have picnic dinner in front of the television once in a while, but it is rare.

7 – Drive around, get lost and admire:  Although I spent 22 years in Provence, I surprise myself taking so many pictures of places I would hang out on a daily basis when I was a student.  We are so blind.  Take a minute and enjoy that beautiful sunset in your neighbourhood. Nature’s beauty is all around.

Provence

8 – KISS and French KISS! Of course, kiss your loved ones, French kiss your better half. “La bise” (a kiss on each cheek to say bonjour) is a cultural feature I brought with me.

Each time I leave my family, it’s hard… and sad.  I wish my babies would see their French Mamie and Papy more often.  I am so proud of those kiddos that keep talking about France on a daily basis without me mentioning it.  They also have 2 uncles and an aunt that they created souvenir with.

LOVE is powerful, love is stronger than the kilometers that separate us.

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Desserts and cookies | Meatless

Chestnut cake

By on March 30, 2015

Chestnut cake or Ardéchois is An amazing recipe that will surprise your guests.  It is easy and will hit the spot at craving-o-clock, what do you think?

I say YES!  I take my coffee black to go with it.

I have been making this recipe for about at least 20  years.  And I am sharing it just now.  I know, I am sorry, you’ll be even more mad at me after you tried it.  Mélanie, why are you giving it just now?  I am sorry.

Oh, I started baking young… Just in case you started crushing numbers to guess my age.

Chestnut cake

This cake is offering moisture, sweetness but not too much, just from the spread.  There is also that buttery nutty taste….

Guys, just try it.   I am torturing myself describing it and I don’t have any to bite into.  Tor-ture. Sight.

If you are not big on chestnut spread, no worries.   Give it a try regardless, chances are you will like it.  Hubby, El Cubano, did.  And other persons have too.  I love chestnut spread, they used to sell it in a tube, like a toothpaste tube but smaller.  I would eat it just like that. J. might remember our recess breaks and my snacks?  This and condensed milk.  Hi Sugar-rush!

Chestnut spread

This recipe makes me nostagic of those years, those people I  baked it for.  The taste brings me back in my parent’s kitchen in France.  I sound very sentimental but living far from your family  does that to you.  Thankfully, I found a marvellous hubby, El Cubano, and our mini-superman and mini-princess are perfect.

Now, those pumpkins are the ones I share my nostalgic recipes and create new ones.  They love it and ask for more.  It is the best reward after spending time in my apron!

Chestnut spread cake

About the Chestnust spread: I might not have seen it in every single supermarket but it is quite common in the aisle of jams and chocolate spread.  Or, you can go to France to pick some up and do your Ardéchois.

Chestnut cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 cake of 8 x 8

Ingredients

  • - 2 large eggs
  • - 1/2 a cup of butter
  • - 1 cup of chestnut spread
  • - 20 cl of milk
  • - 1 cup of flour
  • - 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Instructions

  1. - In a bowl, put the wet ingredients: eggs, butter previously melted, the chestnut spread and milk. Mix well.
  2. - Add progressively the flour and the baking powder, mix until smooth.
  3. - Pour the mixture in an oven dish,previously buttered if necessary.
  4. - Bake in the oven at 385F for 30-35 minutes or when the tip of your knife comes out dry when you pick your cake.
http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/03/30/chestnut-cake/

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Desserts and cookies

French Galette des rois

By on January 6, 2015

Because we don’t eat and indulge enough during the holidays, here’s an excuse for you to eat some more today, on January 6.  It’s a French tradition, la Galette des rois, or Kings’ cake, is eaten on Epiphany Day.

Galette des rois

No need to twist your arm to eat it, I promise.  It’s just amazingly good stuff.  A nicely golden puff pastry filled up with a frangipane.   Frangipane is a filling made with almond, it also has butter and sugar.  Admit it, you can’t go wrong.

La galette des rois is the reason you need to push your new year resolution to later.  How can you resist that buttery pie?

Galette des rois

Speaking of which, I am not a big believer in New Year resolutions, why do people feel like a resolution should be taken on a new year, new month or a new week? I know that there is this sense of clean slate but I kinda of think I can be on a Tuesday, 14 of the month, in March? or July? Why not?

Regardless, El Cubano decide to get healthier since he tends to be the picky eater of the house and started exercising.  So to encourage him, while he exercises downstairs, I do cardio upstairs.  The kids love it, they jump for 30 minutes.  Let’s see how long we last!

Galette des rois

Back to this Kings’s cake, I took a few pictures along the preparation.  I don’t do it ofter but I’ll try to do this more.  I do like to see it on other blogs so…

First, some little hands helped me rolling down the dough.  My Princess was too cute!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll recognize those little colored fingernails, just like Maman.

Galette des rois the making

Galette des rois, the making

I don’t mean to put the fault on my daughter (kinda :)), I meant to make nice decoration, French bakery like but she kept call me and grabing my arm.  Doesn’t matter, this did not alter the taste!

She’s been my little assistant lately and quality controller!

galette des rois the making

Please do join this French tradition!   Normally, in France, a mini charm would be hidden in the filling and the person getting it (without breaking a tooth) would be king or queen for the day.

How wonderful are we, French people? 🙂

 

French Galette des rois

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 small pies

Serving Size: 5 inches diameter

Ingredients

  • - 400g of puff pastry
  • - 1 cup of butter
  • - 1/4 of a cup of brown sugar
  • - 1/4 of a cup of white sugar
  • - 1 and 1/4 cup of ground of almond
  • - 2 eggs
  • - 1 egg yolk for the dough.
  • -

Instructions

  1. - Roll down the puff pastries and make 5'' circles (I used a bowl), You should be to make 16 circles for 8 small pies.
  2. - In a pot, melt the butter.
  3. - In a bowl, put the sugars, the ground almond and mix. Pour the melted butter on it and whisk.
  4. - Add the eggs one by one. You now have your frangipane.
  5. - On 8 dough-circle, pour some frangipane, equally on all the dough.
  6. - Cover the 8 pies with the other 8 circles you had left. Using a fork, press the borders to seal the pies.
  7. - Take your egg yolk and with a brush, spread some of all the tops of the pies.
  8. - Place in the oven at 380F for 20 minutes.

Notes

I used a whole box of puff pastry of Tenderflake for this recipe (http://www.tenderflake.ca/en/Products/Tenderflake/Pages/PuffPastry.aspx)

http://bonappeteat.ca/2015/01/06/french-galette-des-rois/

Galette des rois

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