Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas day

Just the starters, I was far to busy after this to take photographs.

Paul loves Facom tools, he puts them in his Facom tool bag, but he wont use them, he says they are to nice to use.

Heres some photographs from Norad tracks Santa and Reindeer cam

Christmas Eve

Friday, 16 December 2011

Last nights storm

Stuff to write, will do tomorrow, but we survived unscathed, unlike the Dutch holiday home next door, more later

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Salmon and garlic cheese pizza roll

Using Pizza pastry, smother it in soft cheese, I've used a garlic one here, layer on the smoked salmon, roll it up as tight as you can, cut into 2cm slices and bake at 200c till golden brown.

Almond tart

100g each of ground almonds, sugar and butter, and a little almond flavouring if you wish, add 2 eggs, beat together

Line a baking tin with pastry, cover in a thin layer of jam

Smooth the almond mix on top and top with sliced almonds
Bake at 190 - 200c till golden brown, about 20 mins.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Winter food

Pot au feu described by Chef Raymond Blanc as "the quintessence of French family cuisine, it is the most celebrated dish in France. It honours the tables of the rich and poor alike".
So cheap and easy to make, In the oven, on the stove on the fire or in the slow cooker. 
The meat is belly of Beef, I buy it when ever I see it on promotion throughout the year, and freeze it until the winter.
€2.30 a kilo bought back in October

.This isn't diet food, the beef is fatty, I cut the strings off and cut out the bigger chunks of fat, but don't trim it to much.

Use any vegetables you have, potatoes, carrots, leeks, cabbage, turnips, any veg to help bulk it out, cut the beef into large chunk, put the lot in the saucepan, cover with beef stock, add any herbs, sage, bay leaf etc, and simmer for up to 12 hours in the slow cooker, its cooked when the meat is tender.

This one is in my slow cooker, possibly the favourite of my kitchen gadgets.

But I have cooked it on the wood burner before, I started it simmering on the stove top then moved.

As soon as its cooked I will post another photograph, but this stew on here will last two of us at least 3 days. I may blend it down on day 3 to make a soup.

Talking of soup, as I was cutting the vegetables up for the stew I did a few extra carrots and leeks, I put them in a saucepan, with a couple of cloves of garlic and simmered the veg in chicken stock.

When the veg is cooked, blend it all together.
I'm going to add coriander but this is up to you.

Paul loves my dumplings.

No suet in these, Just self raising flour, butter and water, rub the flour and butter together with a pinch of salt, add a little water to make a sticky paste and roll into small balls, these are going to expand, put in your stew for the last 20-30 minutes. Light and fluffy the way Paul likes them.

I do like Cassoulet

Even though French baked beans are not as nice as English ones I do like Cassoulet, so when I saw these in Noz, well it would be rude not to buy them.

Rather annoying was we went to the shop because we heard a rumour that they had mince pies and Christmas pudding, unfortunately they didn't have them, but we did get some Cadbury's cakes

I made a cake.

Paul and I have our birthdays soon, also another Paul a good friend who lives in Guer, we are going to his and his wife Diane next weekend for a birthday party, I have been asked to make a cake, so I had a little practice,
A basic chocolate cake, butter icing and smarties.

The only change for next week is blue icing and the number 50 written with the smarties.

Paul always cooks my breakfast on Sunday

Poached eggs, with last of my English baked beans.

In the shops

I love these selections of fruit, nuts and other goodies.

But they don't come cheap

Maybe someone will buy me some for Christmas.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas is coming

They've started to get the Christmas decorations ready in La Gacilly, looking good so far, I do hope they dress up the bridge, it looked very bare last year.
A lot of the shops are being given a log cabin effect.

 Hopefully this weekend they will be finished, I'm looking forward to seeing these lit up, there's similar set ups throughout the village.

And I do hope they dress the bridge up this year, last year it looked very bare.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Festival de la Soupe

Today in La Gacilly was the soup festival, you pay €3.50 for a bowl and spoon then set off round the village tasting all the different soups. La Gacilly is an artists village, sculptors, painters, glass blowers, all manner of different trades, today most of the shops were open and the soups served in the shops.
Queuing for a bowl, I do think it would be nice if the bowls had the festival written on them.
My first soup.
This was were I tried a pear soup, delicious. Don't be surprised when this ends up on my food blog, renamed of course, Rosies Potato and pear soup.
UPDATE, the winning soup recipe is below on the right in French, for those who don't speak French heres the recipe in English
3 large parsnips
1 onion
1 Corgette
1 Potato
1 tsp olive oil
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
2L chicken stock
A little grated nutmeg
60gr of foie gras in jars
Peel wash and cut all the vegetables except the onion that should be minced, Cook onion in a casserole with the olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the veg and cook for a further 5 minutes.Add the nutmeg and stock, Cook for 5 mins. Add the cream and fois gras and mix.
There was many different soups to try, you only got a small amount at each, even so, many soup makers ran out of soup early, such a shame as the tasters of which I was one of 100's give scores, and there was valuable prizes to the makers of the best soup.
Queue, for green veg and Camembert soup.

For me the winner was number 27, shell fish soup, it was superb and it didn't take much persuasion to get another portion. Although there wasn't a bad soup, there was lot of chestnut soups, not really my taste, very sweet.