Friday, November 30, 2012

Mousse au Chocolat -- Chocolate Mousse (Tutorial)

We have been invited for dinner by some friends tomorrow evening and I have been designated volunteer by my husband to make dessert but not any kind of dessert: Chocolate Mousse!

- 125 g of semi sweet chocolate chips
- 4 eggs
- 2 spoons of water

1. Weigh 125 g of semi sweet chocolate chips.
2. Crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Place the yolks in a small bowl and the whites in a big one.
3. Beat the yolks.
4. Whisk egg whites to form a stiff peaks.

5. Melt the chocolate in bain-marie. When the chocolate start melting stir until to get a nice paste with no lumps. Very Important: Make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

6. Very carefully place the hot bowl with the chocolate on a covered surface. Stir the beaten yolk and bit until incorporated.

7. Fold the whisked egg whites very carefully a little at the time. The mousse is almost ready when the egg whites are well incorporated to the chocolate/yolks mixture with no lumps. This step takes some time.

8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for several hours.

9. To serve the chocolate mousse, scoop the chocolate in a ramequin or a martini glass and you can top it with some whipped cream, shredded chocolate, mint leaves or a rolled wafers cookie (like Pirouette broken into 2 pieces).

=> I like to make the recipe the day before.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Laetitia's Rosemary Bread (Tutorial)

The rosemary bread is ready to be served!

This recipe is done in a 24 hour period and makes 1 loaf

- 2 1/4 t active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (between 100 to 110 degree Fahrenheit)
- 2  cups flour and around 1/3 cup for kneading
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T sugar
- 1 t salt
- 2 T (dried and fresh) rosemary cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1. Warm the water and sprinkle the yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Let it set for 10 minutes.
2. Grease another large bowl with spray and set aside.
3. Add the oil, salt and rosemary in the large bowl with yeast/water mixture.
4. Stir in 2 cups of flour gradually.
The dough before knitting
5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes using a little bit of flour at a time on your surface.
6. Put the dough in the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it rise over night in the fridge. Before going to bed, push down the plastic film to let the carbon monoxide out of the bowl.
The dough after knitting 10 minutes and ready to rise in the fridge over night 
7. The following day. Grease a loaf pan with spray.
8. Deflate the dough, shape it to put it your loaf pan and let it rise for at least 1 hour in a warm place cover with a towel or until it double in size.
Tip: To rise my dough, I place it in the oven (off) with the light on and with a steaming cup of almost boiling water.
The dough after rising overnight in the fridge

All set to rise another hour
9. Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.
10. Brush the top of the bread with some milk and make a cut in the middle of the bread or several in diagonal. In France, it is called the signature of the baker. You can see it better when the bread is  done.
After rising a second time for almost 2 hours before baking
11. Bake the bread for 40 minutes and until the top of the loaf is golden brown. Check with a knife in the center of the bread. It is done when the knife comes out clean.
12. Cool on a baking rack and serve.
Out of the oven, cooling down

What Do I Think About This Recipe?
The crust of the bread has a nice crunch. The bread is slightly airy and holds very well when cutting it. At the first bite you can taste the rosemary but it is not overpowering.
This recipe is one of our favorites. We just made it for Thanksgiving. It is easy to make regarding the number of steps and tasty. Let me know what you think,


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Mantel

Thanksgiving Mantel 2012
It is the first time this year that I decorated the mantel for Thanksgiving. My goal was to create a mantel with an earthy and organic touch and keeping the cost at a minimum. For that, I used things that we already have, reuse items for craft projects and add few new props.

On the mantel, you will find:
- The Basket: A big pine corn, different shades and shapes of brown leaves, pieces of bark, cinnamon sticks, a dried squash and pumpkin and small Indian corns with husk.
- Mason Jars: In the big Mason jar you have layers of beans and lentils and in the small one, you have corn kernels.
You will find the tutorial of the layered beans and lentils at the bottom of the page.
- Pine cons
- Indian corns with husks
- Candles
- Ball made out of twinges
- Hand print turkey in a frame

Hand Print Turkey from our little guy from 2011


Project: Manson Jar Layering Tutorial

- Mason jar (20 ounces)
- Beans of different colors and shapes
- Candle
- Elmer's glue
- Raffia
- Small brush
- Small container
- Painting tape


1. Decide how you want to organize your layers in the jar, playing with the colors and heights, by putting the beans on a piece of paper. My layering is composed of pinto beans, yellow lentils, red kidney beans, white beans, Pinto beans, and yellow lentils. The height of each layer is pretty much the same.

2. Fill you jar based on your template until you reach the edge of the jar.

3. Cover the base of the top of the jar with painting tape. 

4. Light a candle and let it warm up until to see some wax forming. Try to match the color of the candle with the color of your last layer. Very carefully tilt the candle to have the wax fall on the top of the beans and cover the entire surface. Turn the candle as you go to get the hot wax running. Let it cool down completely before the next step. This step will set the layering and avoid them to get mix with one another. This gives you more option to store the jar for next year when it is time to put it away, and you can use it over and over.  

5. Put the lid on the jar. Pull out a long and flat string of raffia. you want to open the string to facilitate the gluing part. Pour some glue in the small container and brush the outside of the lid with the brush. Lay the string of raffia where you just applied some glue and press with your fingers. Repeat this step until the raffia has entirely cover the outside of the lead. Let it dry a bit before the next step.

6. Take a sting of raffia, make a knot, and cut where the length suit you. You can had as many hanging strings as you want.

7. Remove the painting tape.

8. The hanging stings might just be sticking up than going down. So, I took a small piece of tape, fold it to have the sticky part on the outside and place it just underneath the knots and press down. It keeps the rebel sting from going allover the place.                                                                 

You are done. You just have to find the perfect stop on your mantel now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Happened to our Pumpkin Harvest?

2012 Harvest
We harvested 2 pumpkins mid-September and stored them in our basement, where it was dark and cool. To be honest, I was wondering if the pumpkins would rotten be been picked so early in the season. They conserved well and we enjoyed both of them: one as a Jack-O-Lantern and the other one as pureed for future recipes. If you want to check our growing pumpkin adventure and timeline, click on the following link: gardening journal page.

  • PUMPKIN #1

The pumpkin with the imperfect shape was used to carve our Jack-O-Lantern several days before  Halloween. Our little guy picked up the design from a book that we picked up at the library untitled Pumpkins by Jacqueline Farmer.

  • PUMPKIN #2

21 cups of Pureed Pumpkin

With the second pumpkin, which was the first one to grow in our back yard, I made 21 cups of pureed pumpkin.

Here is what I did for the puree:
I turned on the oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit, cut the pumpkin into two and removed the seed. I sliced the pumpkin into 8 big slices. I placed them into different Pyrex glass bake dishes with some water on the bottom  and covered them with aluminium foil. I let them cooked for a good hour or until I could slide a knife very easily like in butter. Once cooked, I removed the foil and let the pumpkin cool down. When it was cold enough to hold, I scooped the pumpkin meat, placed it in the food processor, and pureed it. I poured the pureed pumpkin into different containers, let it cool down completely and put it in the freezer.

The pumpkin puree is very plain compare to the Libby's can from the store. I will have to try to do the same but with a pumpkin for pie from the store to see how much difference taste wise there are between a pumpkin for Jack-O-Lantern and the one for pie.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Just Out Of The Oven!

I had 3 ripe bananas sitting in the fruit bowl, so it was a great excuse to bake... I have made banana bread before with walnuts but wanted to try something different.

Here is my First Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

- 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
- 1 Cup Splenda
- 1/4 t Salt
- 1/2 t Baking Powder
- 1t Baking Soda
- 1/2 Cup of Margarine, softened
- 1 Egg
- 1T Mayonnaise
- 3 Bananas, mashed
- 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Incorporate all the wet ingredients, one at a time, beat well before folding the the chocolate chips last and mix well one more time.
Pour the batter in a greased bread pan and bake for 40 minutes.
Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it on a cooling rack.

What do I think about this recipe?
At the first bite, you can  taste that the bread is light and fluffy. Then, you can taste the natural banana flavor and them the chocolate. The chocolate chips are nice and smooth and you can enjoy the chocolate flavor as you are done with your bite.

If you enjoy the chocolate chip banana bread, check out my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.

Recipe retrieved November, 8th, 2012 and adjusted from All Recipes