3/27/2008

Letting in some sun...



Since the sun refused to shine my way this week, I did some shining myself!



3/26/2008

Spring Fever


I'm seriously developing a bad case of Spring Fever! It was so nice in February that I expected it to just continue to keep getting nicer. Instead it's been cold, wet and blustery. I should have known better. It is March. Well I am finally starting to recouperate from my illness and trying to get back in the swing of things. I found this wonderful recipe for Tarte Bordaloue.
I first made it according to directions and it was DIVINE. So divine it disappeared. So I decided to make another but didnt have anymore pears. So I made one with strawberries and kiwis. D said it was just a good.
I also made a wonderful Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Wonderfully moist scrumptious carrot cake adapted from Tammy Elliots recipe

Recipe Details



Prep Time:

30 min

Cook Time:

1 hour


Servings:

18

Ingredients

  • *4 eggs
  • * 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • * 1/2 cup applesauce
  • * 1 cup white sugar
  • * 1 cup brown sugar
  • * 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • * 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained
  • * 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • * 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • * 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • * 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • * 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • * 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • * 3 cups grated carrots
  • * 1 cup chopped pecans
  • *
  • * 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • * 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • * 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • * 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, pineapple and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. 3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. 4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.
All the guys love this one. They seemed quite surprised when I told them it had carrots in it. I guess they dont make carrot cake here in France, but then you should have seen D's face the first time I offered him a piece of cheesecake. He didnt know what to think of it. Now I have to make them often :)

*^_^* Have a great day everyone!
3/17/2008

Adventures in food land

I have been quite ill these last two weeks. I was diagnosed with GERD and have had MANY terrible nights waking up feeling as if I was having a heart attack. The attacks are becoming more infrequent as the medicine takes affect and I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. I have still been quite busy in the kitchen, making lots of goodies for my honey.
I still face the weekly frustration of not finding what I need for a certain dish at the supermarket. I really am constantly surprised at what isnt available here. I'm not even sure why many of the things arent available.
Like what is the problem with finding baking soda and cream of tartar? I know they are here (I finally got some baking soda) but it's like people over here dont use them. Why not? Do they just not bake a lot of cookies and such as we do in the US?
And chocolate chips...only ones you can find are those little bitty ones in a package half the size of the one Im used to (if you are lucky) ...and the price!?! Coconut...shredded coconut?..nope they have something like, I dunno, grains? Its great, I like it, but why dont they have shredded coconut? Marinated Artichoke hearts...I guess that was really too much to ask wasn't it?
Black beans? It's not happening. Period. (Update: I FOUND THEM...in a weird little african hair salon/grocery store in Agen. We went there to meet D's mother and sister who was getting braids in her hair...and there on the shelf...A BIG BAG OF BLACK BEANS YAYAYAY!)
Brown sugar? well I found something thats sorta dirty white, that technically could maybe be called brown sugar, but its not.
A decent salsa? NO way. The only salsa they have here is the kind that you sometimes in the states desperately buy at that all night mini mart on the corner...that never really tastes as good as the stuff you normally buy. I CRAVE southwestern salsa from Safeway. CRAVE IT!
Cilantro? They have no idea what it is.
I find mself cringing now when I want to try out a new recipe that has an ingredient that I havent yet had to search for. Especially since D still almost always goes with me to the grocery store. I can just imagine how much patience he has to exert when I go one more time on that unending quest for ANOTHER elusive ingredient. Most of the time he jumps ahead of me. "They wont have it" he says. "I'm sure of it!" :(
So some of my 'much desired to try' recipes sit and linger on the shelf without much hope of ever getting tried out, amd that chicken chimichunga recipe sounds SOOOO good! I have become the queen of making up things to replace ingredients. A few weeks ago I spent the day trying to recreate chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Nevermind that there is no way to GET chipotle peppers here. I used some dried peppers that D's mom had given me and toiled away to make the stuff...I guess it was ok. but I really wonder what those fish tacos would have tasted like if I had really used Chipotle mayonaise. LOL!
So the next time you pick up a brick of cheddar cheese at the grocery store...or a container of sour cream....Italian bread crumbs....herb and garlic feta...stewed tomatoes with italian seasoning..liptons onion soup mix...reeses peanut butter cups...mint extract...hot wing sauce...think of me.
3/04/2008

Hello out there people XD

I'm sure by now everyone thinks I have dropped off the face of the earth. Just wanted you all to know I AM STILL HERE. I have many things I want to tell you about if I can just sit still long enough to write them down. Maybe now is the perfect time as I am currently propped up on the couch on painkillers trying to overcome my most recent bout with maladie.


We recently travelled down to Agen to celebrate D's Grandfather's 80th Birthday with a grand dinner that had been MUCH planned. I think he was more excited to be there then a kid in a candy shop. I just adore this man. He decided to have the dinner in a local restaurant and had spent weeks worrying over the menu, taking many trips there to discuss the different wines and such with the chefs, planned the table seating, etc. Some of the family attending had travelled all the way from Paris! On the momentous day I was sitting at the breakfast table enjoying my cafe au lait when D walked in and informed me that we were leaving in half hour. Oh my! I rushed around and threw my clothes on and off to the restaurant we went.


After all the introductions and many bises we finally had ourselves arranged at the tables. I was seated between D and his father...with D being next to his grandfather on the other side. The dinner started out with a nice punch and different little appetizers. One being a phyllo type dough wrapped around nuts, honey and a soft cheese. Very delicious.

Vins
-------------
Rosé
Gaéc du Sahuc
Sainte-Croix-du-Mont
Vin d' Alsace
Bourgogne
Saint-Emilion
Champagne Alfred RothschildetC
I had many pictures to put on this post but almost all of them are sideways and once again the computer is refusing to listen to me and turn them upright. They look upright in the computer but when I upload them they are sideways >.< onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://bp3.blogger.com/_rx5n_a18OMU/R80sbSq7E1I/AAAAAAAAAXU/2tIe4dD2TeU/s1600-h/00358.jpg">
Saumon farci

Trou Gascon
Dindon aux marrons

Flageolets
Tomates farcies
Plateau de fromages

Salade
Fruits de saison

Piéce montée


Café- Armagnac
This meal lasted upwards toward five hours. I am a terrible food photographer. I forgot to take every single picture until after I had taken at least one bite >.<

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature