I live in an unspoiled corner of France. Along with my family, horses and chickens, art and shows, we're restoring an 18th century farmhouse, we commute to Paris, enjoy an everyday café et croissant, paint, photograph, cook and write...life is never dull.
At the end of every summer I have the disappointed feeling that I haven’t had enough of the summer fruits and then I go into a frenzy to get my qoata for the season in. And so we have a last chance to indulge in all the summer fruits, especially the peaches and nectarines, the watermelons and melons. All of them my favorite fruits.
If you haven’t had roasted fruit before, you are truly missing out on a great experience. It is so simple so make and brings out the best of a fruit in a different way.
There is no formal recipe for this dessert. I used a mix of peaches and nectarines.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Use 2 peaches per person. Wash and cut each peach in half. You can remove the seed or leave some in.
Place the peach halves in a roasting tin.
Spoon some honey into the peach hamlves, drizzle liberally with lemon juice, sprinkle some fleur de sel and add lemon slices to the peaches.
Add lemon thyme branches to the peaches.
Roast at 200 degr C for about 15 minutes. Stick under the grill fora further 3 minutes if they aren’t browned enough to your liking.
Serve warm with créme fraîche of vanilla ice cream.
Pincée de sel:
Use plums or figs instead of peaches.
Use brown sugar or maple syrup instead of honey.
Make a vanilla syrup of 1/2 cup water, vanilla pod and 3TBSP sugar . Leave to boil down to a syrupy consistency and add to the peaches along with cream. Omit the herbs.
This is probably the best chocolate cake recipe out there. It is from the south African huisgenoot winning recipes and is truly a winner every time.
Baked with oil, it is easy, quick, light and fluffy and of course delicious. Someone also gave me the advice to bake it as cupcakes and freeze for up to six months without the icing. That way you can take out as many as you need and decorate as you wish.
Oil chocolate cake
250 ml boiling water
125 ml cacao
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
375 ml sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
125 ml sunflower cooking oil
450 ml all purpose flour
15 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Oil 2 cake tin of 20 cm.
Add the cacao powder tot the boiling water and leave aside to cool off.
Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until fluffy and light and creamy.
Add the sunflowr oil, vanilla extract and colled down cacao mix to the egg and sugar mixture.
Sift the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
Divide the batter between the two cake tine and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Leave to cool, remove and decorate with a butter icing.
My garden is in a state of drought and we aren’t allowed to water. But that is summer for you and fortunately I have planted drought resistant plants, because this happens every year.
…The iceberg roses just keep on flowering profusely…
…In the potager, the agapanthus are lush against the backdrop of washing on the drying line…
…My chickens enjoy the potager far too much…so much so that I have no crop of radishes left…
…White petunias in the white garden, such a grateful summer annual..
Courgettes, zucchini for the Américains, are so versatile, easy to prepare and I think a vegetable eaten and enjoyed by almost everyone. It is a safe food to start introducing vegetables to babies and children generally prefer courgettes to peas. What’s not to like about courgettes. So, cheers to courgettes!
Pincée de fleur de sel:
Add some cumin grains to the courgettes
Spread some mustard on the base of the tart before adding the filling.
Use puff pastry instead of the phylo.
Replace the feta cheese with rounds of goats cheese and drizzle with honey.
Just as I think all the chicks are almost grown up, a hen shows up with a little new born chick fluttering around her. The buzzards are also informed by their secret sources that a newborn is availabe and they do take their chances. Unfortunately for them, there is nothing more fierce than a mother hen.
When the summer days are hot as they are here in late august and we are getting a bit tired of tomatoes, we look around for something different. cucumbers are still in season, so why not alittle salad or salsa if you will.
Some people have problems with digesting cucumber. To fascilitate the digestion, I peel it and remove the seeds. In this case, I leave the peel of one half on simply for the touch of green in the salad, but the whole cucumber can be peeled.
As you can see, it is very easy and very quick, perfect for those days where time and energy are lmited.
Pincée de fleur de sel:
Peel the whole cucumber for better disgestion.
Add chopped chives along with the spring onion and chives for a touch of green.
Add a tsp of mild mustard to the vinaigrette for a more pungent salad.