Tartine’s 2013 resolutions: having an epiphany!!!!!!!!

Epiphany 2013 & Galette des Rois

Galette des rois

Well hello everyone, Happy New Year, and happy epiphany to anyone who is celebrating!!!

Talking epiphany, I think I had one recently: I need to write again… yeah, it’s been 2 and half month… sorry! What happened? Well life did caught up to me and it was just getting too much. I guess I owe you, my fellow readers, an explanation…

I love writing this blog. Writing a blog is a lot of work. Especially when you write about something that you do! You got to pull the recipe, make it, take pictures, write the recipe, blog it and market it!!! Yeah, lemme remind you, I have a full time job, which is not blogging!

I got inspired by some amazing cooking blog, where the writer will write 2 or 3 times a week, post amazing pictures, write a story with it, organize contest, blog roll, link parties, etc… But then, for what I can gather, those bloggers do not have a full time job. I, at some point, did write a couple of posts a week, then it all caught up to me: I just don’t have time.

I would spend literally all my free time outside of work and mum duties on the blog work. In the end, I stopped doing a lot of things I was doing before: gardening, visiting friends on the week-end, yoga and sports in general (imagine more baking and less sport= disaster in the skinny pants) and less quality time with the hubby. It really hit me after my 2nd Baker’s Market; I just can’t do it all!

Regrets? Not at all! I learned a lot! I have gained you, my followers, and even though I haven’t wrote for so long, I have gained more followers during that time! Pretty cool huh! I mean mostly on Facebook and Twitter, where I will still post regularly, but still, super cool! And now I know my limits and I have learnt that has long as this hobby will not bring bread to the table, it just cannot cause me unnecessary stress.

So my resolution is to keep writing, but with the following changes:

–          It will be more personal, what really happens in the kitchen

–          It will not be in contest to attract more viewers: you like it, you’ll follow!

–          I will post whenever I have time, sorry no target here J

–          I am not going to re-write the recipe, but link to where I found the inspiration and just share my changes and tips

–          It will not only be about recipes, but our adventure in different diets, reviews on products, stores, restaurants, my founding on using natural medicine etc…

To catch up, in the past 2 months, a few things have happened: I met great people who give me inspiration to try different things: natural ingredients, medicine, different diet, and different way of cooking. I have always wanted to try different things and always been attracted to the most natural way to taking care of our health, but that’s a resolution to apply it to my daily life!

I bought my first laptop, and my first iPhone! Whoa, been playing way to much = not time to write J. I even have a Bluetooth speaker now, so I bring my music right next to the action, all the time! That’s cool! I know, I’m braging here, but that’s major changes!!!

A lot has happened at work, but work is work, whatever… A lot has happened at my son’s school too! School concert, holidays festivities, volunteering with my mum… oh yeah, my parents spent 2 weeks with us over Christmas, that was really great! My dad is a chef, perfect timing for the holidays 😉

This means needs for a diet… seriously, I never diet, ever, I am just usually careful. But I am not in a happy place in my pants. I am the kind to never go on a scale, but I will try those famous skinny jeans, with no stretch in it, from before having kids: that’s the test! So starting next week: cleanse! That’s right! Who’s with me??? It’s going to be a tough one for sure, I know myself, no self-control!!! But I will give it a try… oh, and going back to yoga and zumba (BTW, started zumba not long ago, LOVE it! Make me feel like one of those hot dancers in music videos!!)

So anyhow, here it is. I hope you still want to follow me after all that! Then I’ll really love you back! In the meantime, let me share with you the first cake of the year. Eh, I did say diet starts next week!!!

Galette des rois

“Galette des rois” or a French king’s cake made of almond and puff pastry, hummmm. For the full story about this tradition, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_cake and skip to “french king cake”. The recipe used is pretty much this one: http://www.easy-french-food.com/king-cake-recipe.html#.UOpeOW_onXc . I added some almond extract and vanilla. It’s a great tradition that brings me great childhood memories… Hope you’ll enjoy it!!!

I wish a really good 2013 with real achievable resolutions too! The most important is to do what makes you happy!

XOXO

Tartine

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Blueberry Almond Tart, the call of the field…

Blueberry Almond Tart

We made it to the fields!!! Went berry picking with the kids on Saturday, and it was perfect! Yes, it was not sunny = nobody = all for us!!! We visited Driediger farms, specially picked this farm because they are growing redcurrants (love this berry)! I manage (with the help of the kids) to bring back 12 pounds of blueberries and 4 pounds of red currants, hum….

What am I going to do with all that? Probably some jam. I started to do home made jam that i offer as a holiday favor for Christmas. Cheap, homemade, and yummy treat, everyone loves it! So we got all the berries ready to be frozen (until I am mentally ready to start “jamming”) except what needed to do our tart. I layer them on cooking sheets with parchment paper, so they are easier to handle once frozen. When harden, you can transfer them to a ziplock bag or plastic container.

This pie recipe is great with really all kids of fruits. It’s my favourite filling!I was going to do it with raspberries and red-currants (my ultimate jam combo!!), but I figured you maybe had enough of raspberries yet… ;). Sorry for my North-American friends, but I help myself from a recipe on a french website, and they weight everything! You’ll need a scale for this one!

Bon appetit!!!

Ingredients

For the crust

  • – 250 g flour
  • – 125 g butter room temperature
  • – 1 egg
  • – 125 g sugar
  • – salt, cinnamon

For the filling

  • – 90 g sugar
  • – 60 g ground almond
  • – 2 eggs
  • – 200 g creme fraiche (or mascarpone, or ricotta)
  • – 1 tps vanilla extract
  • – salt
  • – 350 g fresh blueberries

Directions

For the crust

  • In a large bowl, place flour, sugar, cinnamon, a dash of salt and the butter. Combine with your hand and work with your finger til your obtain a sandy texture. Add the beaten egg and combine quickly, forming the dough in a ball. Wrap in film and refrigerate ofr 20-30 min.
  • Preheat oven at 400. Flatten the dough. Place it in a buttered pie dish. Pick the dough with a fork. Cook for about 20min, until the edges are golden.

For the filling

  • While your crust is cooking, beat sugar, a dash of salt, corn starch, vanilla and eggs until pale. Add almond and combine. Add creme fraiche and beat until combine.
  • On the cooked crust, place the blueberries on 1 layer. Pour the filling on top. Shake your dish gently to spread the filling evenly.
  • Bake for about 25 min, or until the top is golden brown.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

To view my easy to print, share and e-mail recipe, visit my Recipage.

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And what did we do with the red currants????

Well, my little helpers and myself, removed all the stems and cooked the berries for about just 10min, until the juice starts to extract. Then we pass it through a fine mesh and froze the collected juice for later, when I am ready to actually make those jams. With red-currants, you mind as well extract the juice right away, rather than freezing the berries if you know it will be for jams. You don’t want to cook those with their stems!

Stay tune for a post about home-made jams!!!

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Pecan Pie recipe with no syrup, no shortening: A southern style anniversary!

Pecan Pie recipe with no syrup, no shortening: A southern style anniversary!

Tartine & Maple

Yesterday was our anniversary, 9 years already!!!! Time flies when you’re enjoying it!!! That reminds me a good ol’ saying from New Orleans, where hubby and I  actually met: “let the good times roll!”.

Well the good times have been rolling for over 10 years between us, and that calls for some sweet goodness from the south, to remind us the root of our love adventure.
In New Orleans, they like strong bold flavors in their food. When spicy, it’s hot! When fried, it’s deep-fried, even double fried! And when it’s sweet, it’s sticky sweet! Like Pecan Pie! Yes, NOLA likes its pecans and syrup. Their big sweet specialities are often calling for those 2;  Pecan Pie,Turtles, Pralines, but also add them in other desserts like: Toffee, Fudge, Mud Pie, cookies, brownies… Anything could use pecans if you here it from them!!!
And hubby really likes butter tarts and pecan pies, that he always buys from the supermarket, because I never got myself around to try baking it yet. And every time he buys them, it makes me cringe! Looking at the ingredient list make me loose my appetite. And I am not a big fan of corn syrup.  Duno if it’s the modified corn or the high fructose that bothers me most… just trying to avoid as much as possible.
So  I took a chance and replace syrup with light brown sugar, and it worked wonderfully! I also added a bit of salt and some nutmeg, which help cutting the over-powering sweetness of this dessert. The hard part was to find a home-made recipe for the crust! All all the recipe from the net are forcing you to use a pie shell from the supermarket! I mean, what’s with that; am I the only one out there taking so much pride in making my own dough? No people, don’t tell me you don’t have time, or don’t have the ingredients: 5 simple ingredients, 5 min to put together, I promise (well, you do need to let the dough rest a few minutes before using)! Most crust recipes are calling for shortening, but just as I am not fan of corn syrup, not fan of shortening either… but butter, nothing like butter!
Through this extra step, remember, your pie will taste so much better, because YOU made it!!!

Bon appétit!

Ingredients (1 9 inches pie)

For the crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter room temperature (unsalted)
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

For the filling

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

For the crust

  • Place butter in a large bowl and microwave slightly until soften, but not melted. Add the flour, salt, and sugar, and mix, using a fork or your fingers. Add the water and form the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 20 min, just so it hardens a bit and does not stick to your rolling pin when you are flattening it. You can prepare the filling in the main time.
  • Once the dough has harden, flatten it so it will cover a 9 inches pie pan and borders. Butter up your pan and sprinkle a little bit of flour to prevent the crust from sticking. Place the dough in the pan. Cut with a knife the dough going over the edges of your pan. With a fork, pick the dough all over, that will prevent the crust from rising up while cooking.

For the filling

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, nutmeg and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk and vanilla. Cover the unbaked pie crust with the pecan halves.

  • Pour the filling on top.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done. Let cool in the pan before transferring to a plate.
  • Serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream! Or, like us, enjoy with some nice, cold, good Champagne!

To save, print or e-mail the recipe, visit my Recipage!