A Mixed Vegetables & Greens Soup And Red Lentil Tomato & Saffron Soup

9

Monday, February 16, 2015


Cabbage Soup With Salmon
Well, looks like the flu is making the rounds at work and I was not immune to its path. This strain has knocked me down for the greater part of last week. I am just starting to feel my head being clearer although I am still hacking away and the most simple activity leaves me completely wiped of energy. It totally zapped my appetite too leaving me with little desire or interest in food. A travesty!

Cabbage
I do know however that my body requires good, wholesome fuel in order to fight the virus. After the first couple of days spent on chicken broth, I took opportunity of a few moments when my energy was better to head out to the kitchen to fix a couple of big batches of nutritious soups. Even if I could only manage a spoonful here and there, I purposely cooked soups that would provide me with all the nutrients, proteins, natural carbs and fiber I needed.
 
Carrots
While I might have had to sit down at the kitchen counter to chop vegetables (legs and arms were getting tired fast), the promise of being able to lay back on the sofa, curled up with a pup and a hot bowl of soup was equal to none. Very slowly, one spoon after the other, I might manage this eating thing...
 
Cabbage Soup With Salmon
The first soup I made was kind of one of those you might create while cleaning out your fridge. I started picking up ingredients with flavor profiles that would work great together and added a few unexpected things to it. Spring cabbage, carrots, onion, potatoes were chopped, diced and simmered together. A whole head of mizuna went in last, adding a nice peppery touch. The whole thing got a whirl in the Blendtec until smooth. I served the soup warm, topped with some leftover cooked salmon and some pomegranate seeds. Nourishing and filling. While my husband took his with a glass of wine, I had to take an extra swing of cough syrup...but still, there was progress with the whole no appetite thing!
 
Mizuna
The second soup was from Diana Henry's new book "A Change of Appetite". I love that book and have been cooking my way through it over the past few months. I had been eyeing her "Lentil and roasted tomato soup with saffron" for a while and happened to have most of the ingredients on hand. So with a little adaptation in execution such as replacing fresh tomatoes with a canned fire roasted tomatoes and subbing the yogurt topping for a little creme fraiche, I was in for a rich soup packing a bunch of comforting flavors.
 
Red Lentil Tomato Soup

Honey & Vanilla Cake & On Nourishing The Soul.

20

Monday, February 02, 2015


Cake_1b
Is it too late to wish you a happy new year?! I think not! So here, Happy New Year 2015! May it be filled with your wildest dreams and greatest accomplishments! I went back home to France for the holidays and enjoyed some quiet moments and some wilder ones with the family! It's always comforting to get home to the heart of things after a busy end of the season at the studio.

It's been a year... filled with some rewarding photoshoots on cookbooks coming out soon. Five cookbooks in particular that I worked on this past year, Southern Made Fresh by Tasia Malakasis, The Southern Gentleman's Kitchen by Matt Moore, Dream Puffs by blogger Barbara Bakes, The Good Pantry and The Great Cook with Cooking Light. I have loved working on them and hope you enjoy the work the whole team put in. I am currently shooting different projects, amongt which is Sara Moulton's new cookbook. All have been challenging, different and allowed me to spread my wings and strengthened my craft.
 
Cake_2b
Lots of changes at work and home. New interns, new coworkers, new freelance projects, new pace of living. It tested me and stretched me at times. It baffled and annoyed me too. I have learned to grow and moved forward from my reactions. I have learned patience and resilience in different ways. I have created both at home and work. I have shared and kept to myself. I have skipped this space more times than intended. It's too easy coming home after a long week of photo and just pour a glass of wine and enjoy the quietness of home.

But...every year I follow Susannah Conway's "Find Your Word" online course and this time without exceptions I jotted down ideas, words, feelings, intentions. Last year my word was "awaken". It found me. On a commemorative evening on the beach in Charleston. It nagged at me and made me unsettled and aware. I've awakened to truth. In friendships, partnerships and work. It was brutal and nourishing at times.


Cake_3b
Nourish. This one little word kept coming back in my brainstorming sessions with Susannah. While I felt depleted and conquered, my Taurus self would just kick that feeling to the curb with a screaming "I want to nourish the good stuff!".

I want to nourish my creativity with more collaboration with people who do give a damn about heart and art. I want to nourish my partnership with my mate with more roadtrips, creative outlets done together. I want to nourish my playtime by writing posts more often. I cook and shoot a lot on the weekends for me but never nourish the urge to share. It takes work to work on playtime...!

So here it is...My first installment of what the word spoke to me at that moment. A Honey and Vanilla Cake to nourish the souls and the bellies of the people around you. One slice at a time...


Cake_4b



Weekend Suppers With Friends: Fresh Market Tabbouleh Salad, Seared Lamb Chops With Olive Chimichurri & A Warm Mushroom Salad

20

Monday, November 17, 2014


Tabbouleh Salad
During fall and the holidays, it's all about cozying up and having with friends around our table. We make a fire, text a few friends and start cooking, gathering, and setting up a feast. We take special care in making sure no one goes to a cold house and a lonely dinner. Weekend suppers with friends make the moment during the holidays creating long lasting memories of their own.

Everyone is relaxed and ready to extend the weekend by a few hours nestled around a table filled with good food and conversation. Meals vary depending on the mood but a few sure ingredients remain the same, by heritage or taste. Charcuterie, good crusty breads, nibbles of cheese and olives, fish or grilled meats and plenty of fresh and colorful sides. And if you are invited to our house, you know there will be olives involved.

Lamb Chops With Olive Chimichurri
One recent Sunday afternoon, we decided to gather new friends and have an olive themed dinner. Sundays are definitely meant for cozy dinners. A last hooray before the week starts all over again. 

Any gathering we host start with an antipasto tray revolving around a few good cured meats, some burrata or other cheese, pickles, seasonal fruits, green and black olives of sort. My favorites remaining kalamata, tiny shriveled oil cured or plump marinated black olives and pickled garlic stuffed green olives. I am the one eating olives like they are M&Ms. That's where my heritage shows through. Provence is never far away from any dish I cook.

We followed with pan seared lamb chops with kalamata chimichurri sauce, a colorful market fresh tabbouleh salad with black olives, heirloom tomatoes, persimons, cucumber, radishes and thinly sliced red onions. All dressed in a creamy parsley vinaigrette. My favorite of the evening was a warm mushroom salad with olives and thyme filled with lobster mushrooms, chanterelles and portobello mushrooms. So so good. I want to make it again with a poached egg on top for a simple weeknight dinner or brunch.

Antipasto
Laughs. Good food and wine. Plenty of stories to go around is how I love spending a weekend evening. It doesn't matter whether our friends are good cooks and want to participate. We just like to get together and share stories and memories around a good meal. If you have an anecdote at the ready, there is definitely a plate awaiting you at our table!

How do you enjoy some down time with friends and foods during the busy holiday season? Curious minds (mine!) want to know! Enjoy the recipes below and please share with me and Lindsay Olives what makes your holiday moments special and enter their holiday sweepstakes (link here). 
Disclosure- yes, this post is in partnership with Lindsay Olives, but opinions are my own. Mushroom Salad

Littleneck Clams With Chorizo & Spicy Tomato Gazpacho

8

Friday, November 14, 2014


Clams With Chorizo
It's clear that in the South the weather has no idea how to behave or what to dress for right now. It's ok. I can make pretend for a couple days that this is a prolonged Indian summer just as well as being able to put on a turtleneck or a scarf. I'm always in love with this time of the year especially where I reside now. The colors of Autumn, the brisk change in the air and everyone's behavior to keep cozy is something I truly relish.

The South can be surprising though and after almost 18 years here, I still find myself oscillating. One November day can be in the high 70s and the next can dip to the low 40s. Which is why I rarely rely on the temperatures to cook the seasonal foods I love. I could be waiting a long time to make a hearty pot roast and would never stop making cold soups or ice creams... 

Thus, it's not uncommon for us to have a warm and hearty dish such as these Littleneck Clams With Chorizo and Potatoes one evening and a refreshingly cold Spicy Tomato Gazpacho with a couple of boiled eggs for a light Saturday lunch within the same week.

The South may seem to have its own slower pace but don't be fooled, we're quick to adapt our cooking repertoire when necessary. Just like we keep flip flops and sweaters very close to one another....

Rustic Apple Tart With Hemp Seed Crumb Topping

16

Saturday, October 04, 2014


Apples
First morning with a clear crisp chilled air. Not the first weekend with apple pie on my mind. Oh yes, it's definitely apple season. And pumpkins, squash and long simmered dishes. Well, being in the South, we have to make pretend it is Fall because hot days and short skirts are lingering on. It only took the temperatures to dip by 5 degrees for my cravings for a good pot roast, like my mom makes, to resurface.
 
Apple Orchard
This morning. It's apples I have on the brain. Vanilla applesauce. Rice pudding with poached apples. Bakes apples with plenty of nuts and a drizzle of honey. And of course Apple Pie. My grandmother's apple pie (with a little twist). There was one thing my grandmother was famous for in my family and it was her pies. She had a knack for pie crusts. She had such a way in the kitchen. Everything I know about food and cooking comes from my grandmother and my mother. The way they cooked and baked, created menus and gathered friends around the table.
 
Apple Tarte Prep
Her apple pie was something not to be missed. A crispy buttery and slightly sweet crust, a layer of vanilla bean studded applesauce and plenty of apples slices on top, with a touch more butter and sugar on top. A dollop of creme fraiche, served room temperature and you would find silence around the dinner table, as well as plenty of smiles and happy bellies.


Apple Tarte
Today looks like an odd day in the weather pattern for the coming days, one with a light breeze, bright blue skies and a little cold in the air. I am taking full opportunity by cranking on the oven and making pie. A hot cup of tea and I am getting in the mood for Fall. Alabama is really beautiful in the fall. I didn't expected it last year (Charleston has two seasons, hot and hotter!) and I am really looking forward to seeing the seasonal color of nature in all its glory. Orchards are full and giving of all kinds of gorgeous apples, market stands abound with all varieties of squash imaginable.
 
Apple Orchard
I usually do not veer far away from the way Mamie Paulette used to make her apple tart. This time, however, I did by adding hemp seeds instead of nuts to the crumb topping I usually put on my tart. It added a nuttiness without being overpowering. I also skipped the applesauce layer Mamie traditionally used in hers. Not being lazy, truth is, we ate most of it before there was enough left for the tart. I'll have to tell you about it soon. This thing will make you swoon, get a skip in your step. It's a daily dose of happiness in itself.
 
Apple Tarte
As soon as the tart came out of the oven, it was like Mamie Paulette was here again. Her big warm heart, sharp wit and larger than life joy for life. 

A balm for the heart, for the cook and for the friends gathering at our table. 

Tartelette All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger