Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Healthy Snack from Spain

Galettes croquantes et craquantes

Long time ago I saw an article in a French Magazine Elle or Marie Claire I do not remember about some " Galettes a l'huile d'olive" and the article was raving about these tryly delicious snack, at this time it was available in a single shop in Paris, but I was living in NYC.
Last week while strolling at Henry's Market in Temecula, completly by chance I saw packs of "Tortas de aceite" from Spain made with Olive Oil. It reminds me the "galettes" I rad about years ago. I bought one pack and brought it back home. I had the first Galetta with some tea. It was light, crispy, delicious. I am keeping the parchment paper they use to wrap up each galetta, I can use use for my baking or to keep some homemade cookies fresh.
Now everytime I go to Henry's Market I get more galettas, I can't help it!
The ingredients are really natural, this is a no processed food perfect for a morning coffee, afternoon tea, late snack...
I am sure that Laurie from
Dalla Mia Cucina will love that!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Birthday's Cake.

Yesterday was my birthday. And I felt great about it. Actually instead of feeling down at the end because I was one year older I felt relaxed and 5 years younger?
I am going to share my secret. My day evolved in different layers. First J. made my breakfast, then he was completly in charge of the kids for the day. I went to the famous Glen Ivy SPA . On the day of your birthday the entrance is free.
And I was so lucky that the weather was warm enough to just relax on long chairs nearby the floating pools while reading my Body and Soul Magazine.
I used the sauna, the steam room, the pools, the Club Mud...For lunch I sat under the palm trees with a delicious Citrus and Shrimp Salad for only $ 14.
At the end of the day ( I stayed from 10.30 am to 3 pm), you take a shower with a complimentary exofoliant and you shower with products from the SPA.
I felt completly relaxed, and quiet.
When I came home J. was working with the kids on some wrapping paper decoration for my gift ( a Cookbook) and then later they bake my birthday cake. A yogurt Cake.
He got the recipe from the famous
Chocolate & Zuchini

Gâteau au Yaourt

- 2 eggs
- 250ml (1 cup) whole milk plain unsweetened yogurt (if you use two 125ml or 4oz tubs, you can use them to measure out the rest of the ingredients)
- 200g (1 cup) sugar (you can use an empty tub of yogurt and measure the equivalent of 2 yogurt tubs if you used the 125ml or 4oz kind)
- 80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil (or a bit less than 1 yogurt tub)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 4 yogurt tubs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste/extract
- 1 tablespoon light rum

Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), line the bottom of a round 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil, and rum. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together -- don't overwork the dough. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.

I had some frosting left from my Yug Log they used it and decorate with whatever was available in the fridge and the pantry for a festive Birthday' Cake.
I open other presents from my friends: Japanese lovely blue spoons, thank you Kumi. A lovely blue satin purse for my bag, thank you Joanie and a cute necklage/ earings duo from Stephanie. Thank you all.
It was a wonderfull birthday, may be the best thanks to my husband and my wonderful and my friends. I feel lucky.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Californian Christmas with a French Twist

I love Christmas holidays: All the anticipation, the expectation, the cookies, the chocolate, the Christmas tree trimming, the lights decoration, the chestnut Stuffed Turkey, the Yug Log ( Buche de Noel), the gifts and my kids’ smile in front of all their presents..
This year we had some cold-cool days before Christmas, so it was nice having some real wooden logs burning in the fireplace, hot cocoa and waqtching some old French Movies.
For Christmas' Eve we had a small dinner over our home. Nathalie and Jean Marie and their daughter Lili joined us. It was a nice, quiet, and very fun evening as usual when we are spend time with them since we are from the same hometown in France we have so many things and memories in common.
I wanted to cook a Traditional French Christmas Dinner for 4. The kids ate before us a simple but delicious Cheese omelet with French beans.

For the Aperitif, we drank some French Champagne I had some Kir Royal (Champagne with blueberries liquor). With this I served some Goat cheese crostinis ( goat cheese spread on fresh bread, with sea salt, thyme and olive oil, broiled in the oven for 6 minutes. Then we had some Mini Quiches from TJ's.

Christmas ' 08 menu

- Watercress soup served with Crème Fraiche
- Free Range Turkey stuffed with Chestnuts, sausage, liver, herbs and cognac.
- French beans with toasted almonds
- Gratin Dauphinois ( actually it stayed in the oven I forgot to serve it)
- Chestnut cooked in the Turkey gravy
- Belgian Endive salad with Roquefort and walnuts
- French cheeses assortments
- 2 Yog Lugs or Buches de Noel. One with berries and Litchis and the other one with Chestnut and crème de marron a la Vanille .
- Coffee served with homemade Mignardises ( Mendiants, Orangettes and Chocolate Croquants)

Verdict: It was a good meal. Not too heavy. We drank also some delicious Californian and French WinesIt was a wonderful prelude for a long Christmas Day with kids at home in our pajamas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tarte aux oignons, herbes, tapenade et Roquefort

Finaly we have been seeing some "Winter" symptoms lately in Southern California. I can't stand having 85 F during the Holidays Season. It does not make sense to me. So when this is gray, chilly, windy outside I enjoy it!

We will trim our Christmas tree later today, my husband put some of the outside lightnings yesterday afternoon. The houses are pretty big and huge here so it takes some time to put everything together. We may go also for a ride to see all the beautiful Christmas decoration of everyone's house too tonight.

For last night dinner I had some Pastry Puff in the fridge resting ( Artisan from TJ's). I looked in my fridge: I had 1 onion, heavy cream, Ricotta cheese, Green and Black Tapenade and some Roquefor cheese rest and Thym herbs.

So I decided to serve this tart for dinner with a Oganic green slad, walnuts, fresh pears with Huile de Noix .

The result: A-M-A-Z- I-N-G... creamy, tasty so delicious. The marriage with the salad/ fruit/ nuts was all perfect... too bad we did not have any wine left... but it was a wonderful satisfiying meal.

Tarte aux oignons, herbes, tapenade and Roquefort - Onion tart with herbs, tapenade spread and Roquefort cheese.

- 1 Puff Pastry ( Artisan TJ's)

- 1 cup heavy Cream

- 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese

-1/2 cup green/ black olive tapenade

- Salt


- 1 teaspoon flour

- Roquefort cheese crumble

- Butter

1 onion finaly sliced

Preheat an oven 360 F

Press your puff pastry into a a pan quiche or tart.

In a large pan add butter to brown a little add the onion slices. Cook until translucide. When it is ligthly brown add the flour and mix all together. Then add the heavy cream, salt and pepper.

Transfer this mixture into the puff pastty pan, on the top add tapenade, Ricotta, and Roquefort cheese.

Bake the tart until brown.

On the side:

- Organic green salad

- Walnuts oil

- Walnuts

- Fresh pear sliced

- Salt


One salad/ bowl per person. Spread the salad, top ith walnuts, pears slices, sprinkle pepper and salt then finish with your Walnut oil.