Saturday, October 25, 2014

My American French Life: Picnic in the French countryside

My American French Life: Picnic in the French countryside: photo from artfire.com No one loves a pique-nique more than the French and no one does it with more style. Of course the first conside...

Picnic in the French countryside

photo from artfire.com

No one loves a pique-nique more than the French and no one does it with more style.

Of course the first considerations is the wine, almost always red.

Three lovely red wines


Next comes the food.  

photo from sydnegeorge.com

Charcuterie is usually included, we would call it cold cuts. There is also cheese, lovely French baguettes, olives, assortment of salads and always dessert.

One of the salads I love to take as it travels well,  is this red pepper salad from Ottolenghi.


Here is the recipe....

6 Romano peppers (650g
8 ounches ricotta
4 ounches mascarpone or cream cheese
2 ounces  pine nuts, lightly toasted
a few  fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest, plus 1 tsp juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp best-quality balsamic vinegar
1 small green chilli, cut into paper-thin slices
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. ( You can roast your own peppers but when I am in a hurry, I just buy them in a jar.)

Use a little knife to make a small vertical incision – about 3 inches long – from the top towards the end of each pepper. You will use this incision to scoop out the seeds later. Arrange the pepper on a roasting tray and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until soft. Remove and set aside to cool before using a small spoon to carefully extract and discard the seeds. The aim is to leave the stem on the peppers when they are stuffed so take your time here: it’s a fiddly job. Peel the skin off the peppers – again, don’t rush here – and set aside on a kitchen paper-lined plate to dry.
To make the filling place the cheeses, nuts, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Add half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper and whisk well. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each pepper and press evenly inside. Don’t worry if the incision increases in the process: you can use your hands to seal the pepper.

Bring a nice sturdy tablecloth,(I use something like the linen sheet pictured below) napkins,wooden cutting board, cups and silverware and Voila you're all set.

French linen sheet....click here





Bon Appetit Mes Amis

A Bientôt

Audrey

Monday, October 6, 2014

Coco Chanel




'Those on whom legends are built are their legends,' declared Coco Chanel to her friend Paul Morand, one of several writers to whom she tried, and failed, to tell the story of her life. 'People's lives are an enigma,' she said to another friend, Claude Delay, not long before her death.

'I don't like the family,' she also told Delay. 'You're born in it, not of it. I don't know anything more terrifying than the family.' And so she circled around and about it, telling and retelling the narrative of her youth, remaking history just as she remade the sleeves of a jacket, unfastening its seams and cutting its threads, and then sewing it back together again.

The official record shows that her mother, Eugénie, gave birth to Gabrielle on 19 August 1883 in the poorhouse in Saumur, a market town on the river Loire. Eugénie (known as Jeanne) was 20, Chanel's father Henri-Albert (known as Albert) was 28, and listed as a marchand , or merchant, on Gabrielle's birth certificate. They were not yet married but already had one daughter, Julia, born less than a year previously.

Gabrielle Bonheur, a nun in the hospice where Chanel was born, was made her godmother, and so, according to Chanel, 'I was baptised Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel'. Gabrielle she stayed throughout her childhood - Coco was a creation that came later - although she invented a story that is revealing in its untruths: 'My father used to call me "Little Coco" until something better should come along,' she told Marcel Haedrich (editor-in-chief of Marie-Claire). 

The Chanel Camelia




Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971) was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.Along with Paul Poiret, Chanel was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the "corseted silhouette" and popularizing the acceptance of a sportive, casual chic as the feminine standard in the post-World War I era. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel's influence extended beyond couture clothing. Her design aesthetic was realized in jewelryhandbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product.

Chanel and her World


Chanel lipstick

Chanel sunglasses

The iconic Chanel handbag


Chanel Number 5


“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”
—  Coco Chanel


She was one of a kind..... so are you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Paris to Dallas



photo by pcworld.com

Today I am leaving France to spend time in Dallas.  I am ready for the flight having packed lots of things for the eleven hour flight.

I cannot leave without a good moisturizer and I find this French one to be wonderful.

Sothys moisturizer

I have to be comfortable in what I am wearing or I am miserable.  Today I have on an antique mens wedding shirt, similar to the one pictured, and a loose fitting pair of tights ( that sounds like an oxymoron). It looks good and I am super comfortable.  I bring a cashmere shawl with me and I am all set.

Wedding shirt


Cashmere shawl


I always wear my Bernie Mev shoes, as they are the most comfortable for all the walking we do at the airport. For those who have bought these shoes before, don't you agree?

Bernie Mev shoes


And if I am lucky these will be waiting for me when I get home. The yellow rose of Texas......

photo by amor.co.ke

A Bientôt

Audrey

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sharing

Today we are writing about "sharing" and since that is something we do every day,  I thought my approach to this would be to share some of my favourite things.

photo by sustainable man.org

What is better to share than a recipe?

I love ice cream and I adore cherries so here is a simple recipe for a delicious dessert I want to share with you.

photo from Pinterest

Recipe Directions

Crust is made of any chocolate biscuits, just whiz in the mixer, add 3 tbs. butter and chill.

2 pints vanilla ice cream
I cup chocolate chips
1 cup cherries either fresh or in a jar
Mix together, pour into cold crust and put in freezer until ready to serve.

How easy was that?

Darling cherry cups, click here for details



Sharing an afternoon with a girlfriend talking about the latest fashions.

photo from Pinterest

For the fashionista 


Sharing is also giving...... 


southerncoalition.org


Audrey

www.frenchvintagehome.com

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lovely fruit from the garden

photo onegreenworld.com

I have a small, lovely walled garden behind my home in France. There are five fruit trees espalied against a stone wall.  Two of those trees are plum trees and this year they produced more fruit than I was able to use.  

After giving away much of the fruit, I looked for great plum recipes. I love going out into the garden, picking the plums and an hour later having a luscious dessert. 

I would like to share just one of the recipes with you as it was my favorite. Plum Crostata from Tastefood.com


Makes 1 (10-inch) galette or crostata

Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Filling:
2 tablespoons almond meal
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds plums, halved and pitted, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Whipped cream

Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend. Add half of the butter and process until the dough resembles coarse meal. Add the remaining butter and pulse until the pieces are pea-sized. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle in the water while stirring and fluffing with a fork. Stir and toss until the dough comes together. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk the almond meal, 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round. Spread the almond meal over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the plums in a concentric pattern over the almond meal and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Fold the dough in over the outer edge of the plums. Brush the crust with the cream. Slide the galette with the parchment onto a baking sheet (or a pizza stone preheated in the oven). Bake until the crust is golden, about 45 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

I love this picture of a barn with espalier fruit trees on it.




Lovely French vintage Farm dress


Enjoy!!!!!

A Bientôt

Audrey

Monday, September 1, 2014

Remembering

photo  phbcatalyst.com


I grew up going to Miami Beach every winter to get away from the cold Chicago air. My parents enrolled me in the local school for four months a year and we lived in the warm weather.  You could do that in those days.

I followed up by going to the University of Miami where I met my husband and got married at the Roney Plaza Hotel oh so many years ago. 

The Fontainbleu Hotel, The Sans Souci and the Roney Plaza hold lots of great memories for me.
Miami Beach will always have a very special place in my heart.

It went through a slump a few years ago,  but I understand it is rebounding vigorously so I can't wait to go back and visit again.

No visit was complete without a stop at Joe's Stone Crab

photo miamipopmedia.com

Also Wolfie's delicatessen where I loved to eat the sour pickles piled high in bowls on the table.


Alas, those days are gone but surely there are new places to build memories.

It is no wonder I fell in love with these plates called Miami Beach back in the 1980's.  As I am moving soon, I am going to part with some of the many sets of dinnerware I have collected over the years.  Just click on the link below for details.

Miami Beach plates-SWID POWELL 1980's


I had a lovely trip down memory lane writing todays blog, I hope you enjoyed it too.

Audrey