Saturday, October 25, 2014
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...
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.
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
Monday, October 6, 2014
'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 jewelry, handbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product.
Chanel and her World
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
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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.
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.
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......