Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fresh peas and another quiche

There is a huge wind storm howling outside my window as I am writing this.  

It seems like a winter of stormy winds and cold, cold nights.  Not normal for here, not this cold anyway.

The mornings are icy and the cold bites through your bones.  Not my kind of weather.  If you know me, you'll know that I am not fond of winter.  Not at all.  

These last few weeks called for a fire in the hearth and lots of hot chocolates and soups.  

The days are wonderful though.  And on weekends we like to spend a lot of our time outside in the garden.  Lunches call for picnic food.  

The peas are just perfect in the garden now.  We strolled down to the garden just before sunset and spend the last hour of the daylight eating peas straight out of their pods.  We eat until we can no more.

Our daily pea excursion has become routine now.  And we do manage to save some for cooking, well sometimes.

I used this recipe and used about half a cup of peas for the filling. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eclaires, choux with cream and chocolate ganaché

We lost all of our chickens.  Every last one.  A genet discovered that they are easy prey and just devoured them systematically.  One a night.  It was quite sad for us, but part of the circle of life I guess.  

I became so used to having lots and lots of eggs available at any given moment and it has been a bit of a rude awakening to suddenly realize I have the flour, sugar, vanilla and mixer ready but no eggs.  No more running to the chicken coop for some fresh eggs but off to the little shop at the garage close by instead.  For now we will not replace them.  We'll wait a while in the hope that the genet moves on.

We had a busy weekend with lots of people coming to visit and friends for lunch and dinner.  That of course translates into more baking and lots of cooking.

My daughter had a little friend over on Saturday as well and I prepared a huge batch of cookie cup batter for them to bake in her own silicone baking trays.  Special girls cakes also calls for special pink icing and lots and lots of pink sprinkles.  They had a blast icing and licking and sprinkling and eating.  They ended up with some pink icing in their hair of course and lots on the cheeks too but with big smiles and happy laughs as well.

When friends came round for tea on Sunday I needed a quick, delicious treat.  Eclairs is perfectly easy and quick and always delicious and always appreciated around here.  They are not difficult, contrary to popular belief and are really worth a try.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Decadent Mousse Cake with a Black Forest Twist

This is a cake I make often for special occasions.  The sort of decadence I like to take along to Christmas Family get-togethers and birthday parties.  It is decadent and rich and yet not sweet, not sickeningly rich tasting and definitely the sort of thing you can eat after dinner.

My sister's little girl turns one tomorrow.  Amazing, how time flies.  It feels like only the other day we were waiting for news of her birth and wishing every inch of the miles and miles of sea between us and her in Canada could just disappear.  Wishing that we could time travel to be with her.  The distance is always worse at times of joy.  Tomorrow is no exception.  The kids are yearning to be there too.  They try to climb into the computer, fighting the strange notion of seeing them, but being worlds apart.

My sister asked me for the recipe of this cake to bake for little A's birthday.  And on the very same day my mom gave me a tin of cherries, some eggs and a jar of cream and asking for a decadent yet light cake with a black forest twist.  Strange coincidence or telepathy?  Not sure, but reason enough to bake the ever dependent mousse cake.  

I had no time to photograph the whole cake before it was sliced and eaten by very happy family members.

We are selling some orchids at a nearby country stall this weekend.  Our town is overflowing with festival goers for the Innibos music festival and we are trying to share some orchid love with some of them.  Hope we see some of you there today.