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Some Time Off

It is by no personal choice that I have not posted in a while…I have been preparing some yummy things to blog about but, since the Frenchies have left we have been enjoying some time alone, eating out, cleaning house and being lazy…

Saturday was my birthday and I got a new digital camera so I have been playing with it a lot! I still have to figure out a few things and I will be back with delectable photos and recipes very soon.

They did it!

Zee cake…

Zee Happy Couple

T & D finally tied the knot after 5 or 6 years of dating! WooHoo!!
My brother and his daughter left the day before and my 5 year old niece was really happy to give me a hand with the wedding cake…and it did not turn out to be perfect like I wanted but D. was a forgiving bride and I am glad it was low key affair.
The flavors were great but as you can see the sides were not straight…oh well, nobody cared but me….!

Now that the french are gone, I am back to my regular postings…

Good Morning Breakfast!

Cream Cheese Danish Couronne

Cream Cheese Danish Twist

I have little time to bake these days. I usually pack all the baking on my days off, but right now I am playing sis, auntie, tourist, chauffeur, wife and hostess all at once. It’s good to have one’s life disturbed once in a while, breaks up the routine and educates you on all the other worlds out there…like that of parenthood…and I don’t think we’re there yet. In the meantime I am enjoying having the French around and feel like spoiling them, especially in the morning to give them so long lasting warm and cozy feelings. This morning was no exception. I stayed up late and made a couple of Cream cheese Danishes, one I braided and the other one I turned into a "couronne", crown or wheel.
I took my basic Danish recipe but rolled it into two large rectangles and spread cream cheese all over the dough, sprinkle with some sugar, folded and turned one more time and voila!. It was yummy and the Frenchies loved this new breakfast treat that they had never had before. They also fell in love with Krispy Kreme

My favorite Surprise

The Brother surely did not come empty handed. His suitcase was full of goodies for me to bake with: Praline Chocolat Poulain, powdered "pralin", vanilla galore and some local alcohols… but he also remembered my favorite thing to enjoy: Kinder eggs. It seems I am not the only one in the food blogging world to enjoy these, check Beck and Posh.

Unlike her though, I was too quick digging into mine to be able to take pictures! I just can’t find these around here and I regularly have a family member include them in goodie packages. In a way I am glad they are not easily accessible…it make the moment even more precious.

We went shopping for kitchen stuff with my brother today but I managed to start a Cream Cheese Danish Braid…I’ll hopefully finish it before midnight!

They are here!

They are here! It’s been kinda crazy around here getting the French acclimated, but I think they are anjoying it so far. My 5 year old niece seems to have a good time even she does not speak the language, and my brother is curious of everything.
We already went for BBQ downtown at Sticky Fingers and my niece has just discovered the power of cookies ar Great American Cookies at the mall!

I’ll try to post as much as I can in the next couple of weeks but it will be difficult…we are never home!

Blog Links

English Blogs

80 Breakfasts
[No Recipes]
A Chow Life
A Mingling Of Tastes
And Then I Do The Dishes
Artisan Sweets
Bake Or Break
Baking And Books
Baking Bites
Baking Obsession
Blood Sugar
Bounteous Bites
Bron Marshall
Butter Sugar Flour
Buttercream And Roses
Cafe Fernando
Cannelle Et Vanille
Chefs Gone Wild
Chocolate Shavings
Cook (Almost) Anything Once
Cook And Eat
Cooking Heals
Daring Bakers
Daydream Delicious
Delicious Days
Dine And Dish
Do What I Like
Eating Suburbia
Edible Flours
Elly Says Opa!
Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings
Feed me, I’m Hungry!
Food Lover’s Journey
For The Body And Soul
Fresh From The Oven
Greedy Goose
Habeas Brulee
Happy Homebaking
Ice Cream Ireland
Kalyn’s Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
La Cerise
La Tartine Gourmande
Lex Culinaria
Mad Baker
Married With Dinner
Mike’s Table
Milk And Cookies
Milk Eggs Chocolate
My Cooking Hut
Never Bashful With Butter
No Special Effects
Notes From My Food Diary
Oh For The Love Of Food
Once Upon A Tart
Paris Breakfasts
Passionate Nonchalance
Pastry Studio
Pinch My Salt
Pittsburgh Needs Eated
Proof Of The Pudding
Trop Gourmande
Seven Spoons
Simply Recipes
Spicy Ice Cream
Steamy Kitchen
Sweet Napa
Sweet Temptations
Sweet Tooth
Swirl And Scramble
Taste Buddies
Tastes Like Home
Tasting Life
Tasty Palettes
The Perfect Pantry
The Traveler’s Lunch Box
Traveling Food Lady
Under The High Chair
Vanille Et Chocolat
Vegan YumYum
White On Rice Couple
Winos And Foodies
Young Patissier Journey

French Blogs
Amuse Bouche
Aux Mille et Un Delices
B Comme Bon
Chez Requia
Chocolat & Caetera
Confiture Maison
Cuisine Blogueuse
Cuisine Campagne
Feuille de Chou
Food Box
La Cuisine de Mercotte
Le Hamburger et Le Croissant
Le Palais des Delices
Les Bonheurs de Sophie
Les Notes Bleues D’Une Gourmande
Les Sucreries de Bulle
Mon Petit Blog de Cuisine
On Mange
Petite Lolie
Plaisir Gourmand
Pure Gourmandise
Tartine & Nutella
Tours et Tartines
Un Ptit Creux
Yum Yum

Absolutely Unique
A Cup Of Jo
Ciao Chessa!
Chic City Rats
Cicada Daydream
Creature Comforts
Daily Olive
Food For Design
ispirazione assoluta a 72 dpi, sposo incluso!
Je Trouve Mon Coeur Partout
Hidden in France
(Inside A Black Apple)
Kate Headley Photography
Kristybee…The Blog
La Porte Rouge
Lobster And Swan
Lula Boutique
Mackin Ink
Ma Petite Theiere
Melissa Loves
One Silent Winter
Oh So RB
Pia Jane Bijkerk
Pintame El Dia
Please Sir
Quaint Handmade
Sweet Paul
The Red Otter Shop
Uncommon Goods
Under Consideration
Unruly Things


What is that? may ask… well, in 2 words: another brioche! I told you I was crazy for that stuff and crazier for any variations I can find.
I found thids
little gem while perousing my favorites french blogs and I added it to the list for my baking frenzy yesterday.

Here is the recipe, and my take on it at the end:

BUCHTEL (makes 18 small rolls)

250 ml milk + 125 ml milk
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
500 g flour
75 g sugar + 2 Tb. sugar
100 g de soft butter + 50 g melted butter
1 egg
100 g almond paste
powdered sugar

Heat 250 ml. milk to lukewarm, dissolve the yeast in it. In mixer bowl, combine flour, 75g sugar. With the dough hook, start mixing while adding the yeast/milk mixture, add egg and towards the end, incorporate the soft butter.
Let rise, covered, until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 18 small balls. Divide the almond paste into 18 small balls also, shape the brioche rolls in the palm of your hand by incaing a ball of almond paste into the dough and put in a13 by 13 baking dish, let rise one more time, covered with plastic wrap.
Bake in a 400 degree oven.
While it is baking combine the rest of the milk, butter and sugar, heat in the microwave for a minute.
When the brioches come out of the oven, brush the tops with the milk/sugar mixture and dust with powdered sugar.

It is so good!!! My variation: I add a lot of almonds so I made my own paste. I prepared the dough in the evening and let it rise in the fridge, overnight. I let it come back to room temperature for about an hour before shaping and baking. This dough is so soft and smooth, I had a hard time stopping myself from kneading it. You can knwead everything by hand, but I found my kitchen aid to be the best assistant so far!

Original recipe from omelette

And Another Baking Monday!

So today I finished the Brioches and I have 20 small ones already chilled and in the freezer, ready for brother’s arrival. The Danishes are in their final proofing stage and will be filled with cream cheese, lemon marmelade cream cheese and coconut jam that I made this morning. I also found the time to make a small batch of Panna Cottas and some biscuits for dinner…oh and in the middle of that I went and got wine, looked for a sleeper sofa and taught Pilates…needless to say my feet are a little tired.

Here are some of the recipes without pictures because I ran out of batteries and I am too pooped to get me to the store…sorry!

Soft, Moist and Gooey Cinnamon Buns (adapted from

Makes 2 dozen buns Prep Time: 15 MinutesCook Time: 20 MinutesReady in: 3 Hours 35 Minutes
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons water
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 In a bread machine pan, place the milk, beaten egg, melted butter, water, vanilla pudding mix, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle.

2 When cycle is finished, remove the dough, and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Roll out to a large rectangle.

3 Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread over dough. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and raisins, if desired. Starting with the widest end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch to seal seams. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch slices, and place in a greased 9×13 inch pan. Place in a draft-free space, and allow to rise until doubled. 4 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

To make frosting, mix the milk, confectioners sugar, softened butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls. Makes 24 servings

I know! Not only do you use a bread machine but on top of that vanilla pudding?! Well, the combinations work great and they make the fluffliest buns we’ve had. THey are big, bold and tasty. I make them just about every week!

The Panna Cottas are courtessy of Tuna Toast at and they are now chilling in the fridge…I will probably topped these with some caramelizd pears since I have to use some up anyway. Here is the recipe:

Vanila Bean Yogurt Panna Cotta(makes 6 servings)
2 TBS water
1 1/2 teaspoons unfavored gelatin
2 cups fat free half & half
1 1/4 cups low-carb or sugar free lite vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon’s Lite & Fit)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
4 packets of Splenda

Pour the water over the gelatin to dissolve (about 12 minutes). In a large bowl mix one cup of the half & half, all of the yogurt and vanilla extract. Scrape the vanilla beans out of the pod and add them to the remaining half & half along with the Splenda and heat mixture in a small saucepan. Pour mixture over the yogurt mixture and stir to combine.
Pour into 6, 4 ounce ramekins and refrigirate until set (overnight is best).
To unmold, set each ramekin in a shallow bowl of warm water for a few seconds, place plate over the ramekin and flip over.
Top with any fruit compote or preserves you like.

I divided the recipe in half and pour them into nice whiskey glasses so they could served without the unmolding process.
Hers is a Weight Watchers recipe so you know it’s good for you too!

Sunday Prep Work

Well, this week has been almost entirely focused on my brother’s arrival with his 5 1/2 daughter next Thursday. He’s the oldest but now he is on my turf. He is an amazing cook and wine connaisseur and I am lucky enough to live in a city rich in diverse foods and ethnicities. We also have quite a few wine shops and wine tasting events that he will appreciate. I have been shopping in order to make easy items like lasagna and quiches that we can pop out of the freezer coming back from the beach or before going out. There won’t be much club going or bar hopping since there is a child but there is plenty to do around Charleston to keep busy.

In that spirit I have benn making quite a few breakfast treats that they can enjoy while visiting that would be a nice change from croissants and tartines.
So my sunday prep. work was : make and bake cinnamon buns, cinnamon and walnuts buns, make and refrigerate dough for brioche, and make and refrigerate dough for danishes.
I talked to my niece on the phone this afternoon and she already told me she wanted to help me make my brownies and madeleines when she is here. The child helped me with a pan of madeleines at the tender age of 3… she loves food…yeah!!!

Recipes and pictures will have to wait until tomorrow though…

Afternoon Snack, Grandma’s Style

" The whole cake and nothing but the cake… "

Does not take much to make this girl happy…

My grandmother loved cooking with apples, in sweet and savory dishes. Her specialty or signature dessert was this apple pie made with a shortbread crust and covered with a homemade apple compote. Nothing fancy, nothing grand looking, but it tasted so good. I wanted to make something this afternoon that remimded of her. Around Easter I always get sentimental and miss everybody back home. Easter is big in our family, first because of the religious aspect, but also because of the connection we make each year around the dinner table, hunting our eggs and devoring our chocolate.
I found this recipe on under the "pour le gouter" section (as soon as I find out how to do a hot link, you won’t have to deal with all this…anybody care to help?) . Instead of making it with pears like she did, I chose Granny Smith apples, and it worked just fine. It was delicious warm with a scoop of creme fraiche but I just had another slice cold and it still just as good, a little easier to cut if anything.
You might want to call it Deep Dish Apple Tatin, flufflier, cramier but just as good in caramel and butter.

Gateau Tatin aux pommes
1 cup sugar
4 apples
100g butter
100g sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
150 g creme fraiche or sour cream
270g flour
tsp. baking powder

With the cup of sugar, make a cramel: put in a pot on stove with a little water and let cook until golden brown. Pour the caramel into a 9 inch cake pan and reserve.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Put them in a nice pattern in the bottom of the pan, reserve.
In bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add the flour and baking powder, then the sour cream.
Pour over the apples and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clear.