healthy

Beetroot cappuccino…and November in reds.

A beetroot velouté, or creamy beetroot soup, is apart from delicious, also beautiful. Served as a starter in the way of a cappuccino, is a beautiful way to kick off an autumn or winter dinner. It is actually a good idea to always eta  small starter of soup with any home dinner..it is healthy and helps fill one and so prevents over eating.

Ronelle's food-beetroot cappuccino

beetroot cappuccino recipe

Pincée de sel:

  • Younger beetroots give a deeper colour, are sweeter and softer. If possible, use small beets.
  • Raw beets cab be replaced by ready cooked vacuum packed beets.
  • add different spices for a more wintery touch…cardamom seeds, star anis, cinnamon, croriander – add together in a small muslin bag so it can be removed afterwards.
  • To make froth with a machine: whisk a small amount(about 150 ml) milk in a high microwave proof) container. whisk vigorously until it starts foaming. Place in the microwave immediately. Heat the milk while keeping your eye on the milk all the time. The froth will start to rise high. Remove from the microwave and scoop the froth from the milk.
  • Use vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian soup.
  • A scoop of créme fraìche, or a scoop of whipped cream can be used, which will make the soup creamier and heavier.
  • Ideal for a starter.

Ronelle's photography-beetroot-001    Ronelle's photography-beetroot-005

…and November in reds.

The artist in my appreciates November as the most beautiful month in the year. It is the most challenging and gratifing time of the year for painting, photographing, hunting for mushrooms in the woods, watching the leaves turn form green to yellow to red to purple to brown and finally float to the ground. No other season gives us this fast forward motion action of change in nature and it passes before your eyes from one minute to another.

…The stinky mushroom, Anthurus d’archer in bright autumn/winter red…

Ronelle's photography -mushroom anthurus d'archer

..la vigne vierge with its leaves turning red in autumn and a artistic spiderweb blinking in the morning light..

 

ronelle's photography- autumn light

..foliage of vigne vierge, the attractive seedheads of Cleramtis vitalba, and stinging nettle in their natural environment..

 

Ronelle's photography - fall colours red

 

..the stunning reds of hydrangea leaves in November..

 

 

ronelle's photography - autumn reds

 

..Ivy hugging a fallen vigne vierge red leaf..

Ronelle's photography - autumn color red

à al prochaine fois

Ronelle

 

 


Baguette aux fruits rouges et jambon de Parme(baguette with red berries and Pama ham)..and a sign for every shop.

It happens to all of us: that day when the house is empty but the people hungry. If you have a baguette at hand(like all French homes do), some kind of fruit, like red berries(which you should have, because they are packed with health benefits!) and some ham somewhere( if you dig deep enough, I’m sure you’ll find a substitute!)…well, then you have a meal and a great one at that. Good enough for a snack or a lunch or a brunch or a light dinner.

baguette aux fruits rouges 4593x3264

I am not giving any formal recipe for this baguette aux fruits rouges, it is all up to you own imagination. see the pincée de fleur des sel for some guidelines..

Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • Use baguettes and cut in half so you have a solid “base” which helps prevent the bread from going soggy.
  • I used a cheese with walnuts as a spread , added the red berries of my choice, drizzled with olive oil maple syrup and a little lemon juice, topped with thin slices of parma ham and grilled quickly  in the oven for a minute or two.  Serve warm with extra chopped walnuts and maple syrup.
  • Serve with a green salad if preferred.

fruit rouges et fromages aux nopix 3015x2883

blueberries, black currants, red gooseberreis, raspberries, blackberries

fruit rouges et fromages aux nopix 3750x2502

..a sign for every shop..

board signs 1959x2011I am sure  you marvel at all the interesting sign shops wherever you go. Well, me too! The most exciting ones to the most boring ones. sometimes a boring one will actually push me to enter, just to have me praise my perception of the shop being as uninteresting as its sign. Or maybe to prove myself wrong and that I might just find some treasure…

Whichever way, a sign outside a shop lures us inside. And yes, there has surely also been the disappointment in a store’s interior  with a charming sign flirting outside. Still, we enter a store with expectation after looking up and seeing its sign…

board signs 1813x2536

Some are  brightly colored, tongue in cheek, funny… will they invite you in?

board signs 1873x2321

Some are not very indicative of what its store is all about, but that could be good tactics…

board signs 1722x2401

Some are regional and they have to really be original to stand out..

board signs 1877x2107

Some plays on our desire to remember the past…

board signs 1841x2393

Some  very elegant …

board signs 1882x2692

And those with a personal name has you want to discover more…

board signs 1909x2833

then there are those you have no clue what might await inside but you love what the name represents…

board signs 1952x2028

And there are those for special customers…

board signs 2000x3008

And some are so often hidden in lovely greenery, it comes with the profession…

board signs 2841x1700

Proof goes to show…hidden in the foliage…

broc 3008x2000

Sometimes though, high and clearly marked in old script..!

antiquités 1269x1503

And then there are the handmade ones to suit every occasion…(so by the way, this was mine many years ago with an exhibition in my gallery at home)

boardsign 1437x1441

Mine again…in the atelier…just to distinguish between the art studio and  the “pretty”art  exhibition!

atelier de ronelle 2000x3008

Originality abounds!

board signs 1964x2575

In the wine area a multitude of signs direct you to the multiple domains and cellars and wine shops. This is the grande grappe de raisin just opposite from where we lived and was always a beacon.

grappe de raisins 2481x1966

These following ones were all in close proximity when we lived in Montlouis sur Loire.

boardsign 1566x2325

Cave of course meaning in this case wine cellar….the bunch of grapes is there to make sure you don’t arrive with your climbing gear.

cave a vin 1917x2798

An oringal way of luting passers by to a wine cellar and regional products.

boardzsign 2000x3008

With this sign I had a personal affair….right behind it is a parking where I always went through to get into the main road. this sighn always blocked my view to check for oncoming traffic, so I had to get out and move it back as you see it standing now, got back into my car, checked my left and rights and into the traffic I went. Not quietly and patiently, but rather doorslamming and sighing and armslinging and a lot of ZUT, ZUT, ZUT! It happened every day for  the whole time we lived there. It is just one of those things. Instead of going over to the cellar  and fixing it, I just moved the thing each time with a French attitude. I miss it.

boardsign 1740x1315

These cute board signs are just simply fun.

plat du jour 1682x2877

“I Invite you in to dine and wine, don’t mind my strict  appearance!”

l'escalier gourmand 2678x3881

At the boucherie in Beaulieu you can even buy salads…

la boucherie à beaulieu 1927x2516

With all these signs, I always sign a salut to you

à bientôt

Ronelle


Tartine aux Courgettes …and “les jardins de Colette”.

When your potager starts exploding with courgettes, it is time to come up with all sorts of ways to eat those courgettes without getting bored. But even so, by the end of summer, I feel like a courgette and can’t even look at one, let alone eat it. Courgettes are more flavorful when they are young and nothing needs to be added to give them moire flavor. These tartines can be served s a starter, a lunch with a salad, or as an apéro before dinner..and come to think of it, why not pack it for a pique-nique?

grilled courgette bruschettas 2334x1955

La recette:

tartines aux courgettes 4857x4415 4857x4415Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • Add some goat’s cheese or feta cheese to the tartines.
  • Leave the toasts and serve as a tagliatelle pasta, topped with a fillet of fish of your choice and a salad.
  • Make croutons instead of toasts and add along with the grilled courgettes to a salad. Top with dry roasted pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese and a mustard vinaigrette.

 

courgettes 3556x2844

 

Les jardins de Colette is a large botanical garden at the foot of the chateau Castel-novel, where the French writer Colette lived with her 2nd husband Henry de Jouvenel and her daughter Bel-Gazou. The gardens were created in 2008 and depict her tumultuous life which centered around her insatiable desire for creating. You will surely know her for her novels Chéri in 1920 and of course Gigi from 1944, upon which the musical film was based and in which Leslie Caron played Gigi. Colette’s real name was actually Sidonie-Gabrielle , her last name/surname being Colette. But I’m her to show you the garden dedicated to her…so, to read about Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, you can pick and choose a site on Google.

les jardins de Colette 2273x3029

Some trinkets in the store…and I found their little truck quite cute…and a rose named after Colette in 1995…

jardins de colette2

…Veronique flowers in abundance in the garden of her childhood in Bourgogne…and bees in abundance….

les jardins de Colette 3120x3903

..le jardin de Rozven in Bretagne was bought by her friend, Missy, in 1910  and for 10 years afterwards Colette and her family still spent their summers at Rozven.

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-005

…a potager, part of remembering her childhood..

les jardins de Colette 4467x3095

..a labyrinth in the shape of a papillon,  where kiddies are told stories while finding their way to the end..

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-002

..some annuals planted in the jardin de Saint- Sauveur-en -Puisaye  in Bourgogne...

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-001

..an english garden..”aussi libre qu’elle”..as free in spirit as she was…

jardins de colette

…a little refuge for insects..

les jardins de Colette 3205x4389

Colette with her brother in childhood…

les jardins de Colette 2614x2122

…her love for animals clearly comes across in her books..

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-010

..la coccinelle and le papillon..les amis du jardin!

jardins de colette3

In the Correze gardin at Castel-Novel a little cabane/gloriettes was constructed from willow branches..

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-008

..The olive trees and lavenders from the Provence garden..

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-016

..a bit of freshness with a canal of water and fountain..

jardins de colette4

In the rose garden her favorite rose can be found…Cuisse de Nymphe

jardins de colette5

..as well as one of my favorites...Honore de Balzac…

les jardins de Colette 3547x3223

And lastly, a lane of tilleuls trees to remind of her last years spent in Paris, where her windows opened onto the gardens of the palais Royal…

 

les jardins de Colette 4928x3264-021

With something cool to drink, we finished this tour through the gardens of Colette and it was time to return to reality. I felt a vibrant kinship with her and her creativity, her desire to live to the full, her love for nature and animals and maybe one day I can retrace  her steps to really experience what her life was like…

à la prochaine fois!

Ronelle


Grilled tomato and goats cheese squares..and Bretagne(Brittany) in June

We are outside. Non stop. The weather couldn’t be more perfect. The days are wonderfully warm, sunny. The cigales are crazily announcing summer in the meadows. I am crazily happy.

Taking our meals outside in summer is a given. Preparing it outside is a given too. These tomato and goats cheese apéros ( appetizers)do it both ways. It is prepared by the barbeque fire. It is grilled on the fire. It is eaten by the fire. An ice cold dry rosé wine and life is crazily wonderful.

croustillant de tomate et chevre 2861x2353La recette:

tomato and goats cheese squares

Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • Use feta cheese instead of goat’s cheese.
  • Use feuille de brick, if available, which is not as thin and delicate as phyllo pastry.
  • Add some flaked fish of your choice or add a sardine, in which case you can use dill or coriander instead of basil.
  • Use other herbs of your choice..
  • Leave out the tomato and add fresh spinach leaves and dry roasted pine nuts for a more Greek flavour.
  • To serve as something sweet with coffee after  barbeque…roll chocolates, chopped nuts of your choice and a mint leaf  in the pastry sheets, treat the same way on the coals and enjoy with coffee around the fire.

croustillant de tomate et chevre 3065x2880

Place at an appropriate distance above the coals on a grill.

croustillant de tomate et chevre 4304x3264

Brush with a home made rosemary brush and olive oil.

croustillant de tomate et chevre 3710x2947

We visited friends in Bretagne and were treated in typical Breton fashion to a wealth of cuisine Bretonne. Seafoods galore, vegetables, notably carrottes Nantaises( of which I have planted in my potager), crépes and galettes, sablés, far breton, quatre quart, kouign amann, cidre, beignets, butter, butter, butter… It is truly a good thing we don’t live in  Bretagne for I would have rolled instead of walked. Fortunately, we did a lot of walking to fight the calories. I invite you now on some of our promenades around Rennes and the seaside villages of Tharon and Pornic.

Bretagne in June  4928x3264-005

Promenades en mer…boat trips.

Bretagne in June  4928x3264-003

The port of Pornic is quaint and with the perfect summer weather we had, the whole world crept out of their shells comme les escargots de leurs coquilles(like snails from their shells).

Bretagne in June  4928x3264-004

Le blanc du nil is a well known chain store in the French seaside villages. They sell only white cotton and linen clothes and I love it for the prices and the loose summer dresses, shirts and slacks and skirts. And of course the all white look makes you feel cool and light. And a little chic too…

Bretagne in June  2899x3614

The walkway was filled with people, basking in summer sun, seeking out some dappled shade and licking dripping ice creams. We did too.

Bretagne in June  4227x2942

A lonesome Canna lily adding some charm to an ordinary signpost indicating the way to the hotel de Ville of Pornic.

Bretagne in June  3264x4928

Back in Tharon, it was time for eating again, something we did too much of , but  enjoyed so much! The boulangerie Tharonnaise is comfortably just a walk down the road where one doesn’t mind queuing for all the bakes delicacies I mentioned above.

Bretagne in June  3588x2891

One of those wonderful delicious sinful and dangerous cakes, is the kouign amann, for which Bretagne is known for. I DO plan on baking it, sharing it with you, I REALLY DO! But only after I lost the 3 kg I picked up after eating it in Bretagne! Typical Ronelle style, one slice was not enough…It is literally a butter cake and a little challenging on the making-side: made  with bread dough and folded like puff pastry with loads of butter and sugar which, during the baking process, gives you a devilishly, deliciously, flaked caramelized cake.

Bretagne in June  4288x3208

One of our outings was also just down the road…a regular vide grenier in Tharon. As you can see below..one man’s junk becomes another man’s fortune. We found some fortunes there too…

Bretagne in June  4928x3264-002

Of course we visited the beach with its colourful cabanes which mostly belong to the inhabitants of Tharon and gets unlocked every season to let out the sunscreens and chairs and umbrellas and beachballs…

Bretagne in June  4263x3018

As  is shown below…the beach umbrella and bags and towels and  kiddies were let out of the colourful cabanes.. well, maybe not the kiddies…

Bretagne in June  3638x2630I fell in love with these original fishing platforms, les pêcheries et leurs cabanes

Bretagne in June  4053x3059

A close up..

Bretagne in June 2588x2165

A lunch  of langoustines, and lemon mayonnaise with  baguettes from la boulangerie and accompanied by a crisp white wine.

Bretagne in June  3971x2977

In Rennes the géraniums on the windowsills paraded shamelessly  in their beauty and gaiety.

Bretagne in June  3264x4225

We had a schedule to follow in Rennes, a to-do list that kept us on a quick run. Nonetheless we found the time for a pit stop in the centre ville to have un café créme et un allongé, while we drooled at seeing the bar à crépe which was just opening its doors early morning. Next time.

Bretagne in June  4458x3244

Centre ville  in Rennes.

Bretagne in June  4928x3264

 

Bretagne in June  4928x3264-001

Hope you had fun on this promenade. And I hope you on your turn drooled at the tomato and goat’s cheese apéro’s. Maybe enough to make them. I should probably have given you an exciting recipe from Bretagne, as the post asks for….but what are rules made for, if not to be broken? I greet you as always….

Bretagne in June  4131x2939

…à la prochaine fois…

Ronelle


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 317 other followers