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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cooking&Baking Session 5 - Roast Dinner

We've made several nice things this month, but only one following a recipe book: A Roast-dinner! We used to enjoy those meals during our time in England, but had not got round to making a roast for ourselves since (that was four and a half year ago!). So we took out our Jamie Oliver's book "Jamie's Ministry of Food" and prepared:

- Roasted vegs
- Roasted meat
- Yorkshire puddings

 Today I am sharing the pictures of the whole meal preparations, but only the recipe for the Yorkshire puddings. I think they are my favourite bit in a roast dinner!

Yorkshire Puddings

Makes 12
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 100 ml milk
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/gas 9. Get yourself a cupcake tin and add a tiny splash of vegetable oil into each of the 12 compartments. Pop into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes so the oil gets really hot.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a jug until light and smooth.
Carefully remove the tray from the oven, then confidently pour the batter evenly into the compartments. Pop the tray back in the oven to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.
Roasting the veggies
Making the gravy

The apple sauce

Bon Appétit!
In case you are wondering, we used carrots, potatoes and parsnips to accompany our pork roast.

Cooking&Baking Challenge - Session 5: Ghyslaine

Pain d'épices


500 gr de farine
1 sachet de levure chimique
180 gr de sucre en poudre
1 bonne cuillère à café de cannelle
1 bonne cuillère à café de gingembre en poudre
1 cuillère à café d'arôme liquide de vanille
400 ml de lait tiède
200 gr de miel

Mélanger le tout
Verser dans un moule à cake beurré avec du beurre demi-sel
Placer au four à 170°C pendant 1h

Cooking&Baking Challenge - Session 5: Isabel

 Stuffed Bell-peppers

- 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil.
- 3/4 medium onion, finely chopped.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced.
- 1 can of 800 g whole tomatoes, drained (but keeping the juice inside them).
- 2 tablespoons basil.
- 3 teaspoons sugar.
- Salt to taste.
(I didn't add any pepper, but feel free.)

1. Put the oil in a pot at medium heat. Add the onion and a little bit of salt (it helps release the juices, so is done more quickly).
2. After about five minutes, add the garlic and let everything cook until transparent.
3. Add the tomatoes (minus the liquid, if you use a can) and, once in the pot, squeeze them with a wooden spoon in small chunks.
4. Add a bit of salt, sugar, the basil (and pepper, if you wish).
5. Let it cook for at least 25 minutes, at medium-low heat.

- 2 bell peppers. (I prefer the red ones, but I guess green would also be good; make sure they are bell peppers, not Italian, whose skin is much thinner.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced.
- 2 + 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil.
- 1/2 chicken breast (I usually call it 1 breast, and have to remember that chickens have two each), in small chunks.
- 50 g Scaramorza cheese, grated (I used it because that's what I had, but I guess it would be great with dry mozzarella, or even white Cheddar).
- 100 ml cooking cream (not whipping; about 18% fat).
- 8 tablespoons marinara sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Breadcrumbs.
- Parmesan cheese.

1. In a skillet, put 2 tbs olive oil at medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, with a bit of salt. Let them cook for about 5-7 minutes, until transparent, or even a bit more done, half caramelized, if you please. Set aside in a bowl.
2. In the same skillet, put another 2 tbs olive oil and cook the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper until no longer pink (consider that it will be introduced in the oven later, so it's not necessary that it is fully done). Put it in the bowl and mix.
3.  In the bowl, add the Scaramorza, the cream, and the marinara sauce.
4. Stuff the peppers with the mix and cover with breadcrumbs (mine are home-made, with bread, garlic and Italian parsley) and a bit of Parmesan cheese.
5. Cook in the oven (preheated, 190ºC, with air, and heat up and down) for about  30-35 minutes.

Let it cool for about 5 minutes before eating. It's really hot... :)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Autumn - Home fun

The weather is autumn does sometimes confine us to our flat. We keep as busy as we can though to prevent from feeling moody and depressed. And what is best than a little bit of baking and craft with N. ?

Redcurrant muffins with Fennel herbal tea
Learning to keep her balance
Making animals with stickers and pots
Different sizes of pompons
Brownies in a cup

 Still many possibilities of what one can do at home. What do you do with your children? Any tips, fun activities to share?

Thursday, 24 October 2013


 Autumn is really a lovely season, and there are so many things to gather outside! Fun times with the children leading to home-craft. Now DIY in French is "bricolage" and my 2yo cannot say it right, she says "pipolage" which sounds really cute ^^

Two weeks ago she did some craft with her Dad:

And today it was with me, we (I!) used the hot glue pistol which I got for my birthday. That thing is a revolution! Crafting goes so much faster with it!

 My mother actually quite liked this "domome" (N.'s word for "Bonhomme" = man), which makes me say that N. and I are going to make some more of those (we need to gather more material!) for her to give people at Christmas.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Challenge : "Un mot, des titres" - Session 19

J'ai manqué les sessions d'été du Challenge, par manque de temps surtout. Mais me voilà de retour dans la course!

Le mot de la session 19 est: Reine. Quel beau mot! Mon choix a été fait en quelques secondes, je me suis dit qu'enfin j'allais me lancer dans une lecture qui m'attendait depuis très longtemps:

La Reine Margot, Alexandre Dumas

Dans ce roman de plus de 600 pages, on découvre les intrigues de la cour de Charles IX. L'histoire commence le jour du mariage de la soeur du Roi, Marguerite, appelée Margot par son frère, avec Henri de Navarre, futur Henri IV. Ce mariage a pour but d'apaiser les tensions entre protestants et catholiques et d'amener une certaine pays au royaume de France. Malgré cela, nous assistons au massacre de la Saint Barthélémy et à tous les événements qui s'ensuivent. Tout est fait pour tenter de perdre Henri de Navarre. Nous découvrons tous les personnages, Charles IX et ses frères: les Ducs d'Anjou (futur Henri III et pour une courte durée roi de Pologne), et d'Alençon (futur duc d'Anjou), sa mère, Catherine de Medicis qui semblent tirer les ficelles des différents complots et intrigues. Le roi et la reine de Navarre (Henri et Margot) qui ont chacun des aventures amoureuses extra-conjugales mais qui forment un couple politique très uni.

J'ai toujours beaucoup aimé Alexandre Dumas dont j'admire (et lis chaque année) Les Trois Mousquetaires. Dans ce roman j'ai retrouvé le plaisir d'une histoire de France (très) romancée avec un rythme de narration soutenu qui entretient parfaitement le suspense. Je dois avouer que j'ai été tellement prise dans l'histoire que je me suis empressée de lire sa suite "La Dame de Monsoreau" qui m'a à son tour embarquée dans le troisième volet "Les Quarante-cinq". Malheureusement ce dernier récit n'a pas de suite malgré sa fin laissée complètement en suspend. 

Bref, une série sur la Dynastie de Valois qui ne manque pas d'intérêt et que je recommande bien vivement!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Baby T.'s Baptism

At the end of Summer, our son, Baby T., was baptised in France. It was a wonderful family celebration and we had a lovely time. In addition to that Baby T. behaved really well and didn't cry ;)

For the occasion I have sewn him an outfit. A shirt from this pattern:
 But instead of buttons and buttonholes, I used press-studs. It was so much easier to put on and to take off! I must say I was proud of the result, I did everything careful and it did pay off!
To the shirt I added a bloomer and some shoes. And finally we re-used the white dress which I had made for Little N.'s own baptism (see the article there). I am hoping to pass on the white dress to my sisters and to my children and make it a traditional family dress.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Presents for a newborn baby

 For a lovely little princess born a month ago already, I made this changing/play-mat from this tutorial .  And with the middle cut-out circle, I made a sort of toy, soft and easy to grab and play with. I hope both daughter and mother will enjoy my humble present ^^. I am always so happy to hear about the birth of a new baby!

 What do you think of the small toy? Is that something that you would give to your own baby? (just to know whether to make one again for the next birth present!)

Oh and I also wanted to thank my sister B. for the lovely ribbons she brought me from Ireland! The colours are great!