Health rusks and a lavender field.

There are few things as enjoyable as dunking a rusk in that early morning cup of coffee. It being a very South African tradition, no home in SA is without a cookie tin of rusks. It requires no yeast or kneading and is quick to assemble and can easily be adapted to your own taste. This recipe is from a book by Myrna Robbins called, Bushveld banquets, a feast of Lowveld flavours.

I have about five varieties of different lavender in my garden. My favorite one is the lavandin Grosso with nice dark flowers and which grows about 70 cm tall. Behind the pool I have a large patch of the large lavendula Angustifolia, la vraie lavande, which adds a whiff of lavender all around the pool and lawn…it says Provence! How I love lavender!

Oats and coconut cookies and a christmas tree.

These old fashioned cookies are from my childhood. My mom believed they were healthy so we ate them throughout the year. They are simple to make and delicious to eat. Everybody loves them.

Oats and coconut cookies

  • 1 c butter
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 c flour
  • 4 c oats
  • 3 c dessicated coconut
  • 11/2 c sugar
  • salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Grease a baking tin, 30x35cm with butter and and line with brown paper.
  3. Mix the flour, oats, coconut, sugar and salt.
  4. Melt the butter and sugar . Add the milk and bicarbote of soda.
  5. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Press the mixture into the greased baking tin and bake for about 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Cut into squares while warm and leave to cool beofre removing the squares from the baking tin.

Christmas in our house starts on 1 December. We play some christmas music while decorating the tree and finish off with a nice dinner en famille.

Paris coffee-sandcookies( petits sablés de Paris au café)

Since childhood I have loved my mother’s coffee cookies. We always baked them for Christmas. These little sablés are good too and much less work than the real old coffee cookie Maman used to make. And..they come with a Parisian flavour! What could be better? Come Noël, we will revert back to Maman’s old fashioned Christmas coffee cookie.

sablés au café 09-11-2013 15-46-038

La recette:

petits sablés de Paris recette-001Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • Keep some sablés single, without being sandwiched together. They will be crispier and perfect for dipping into some coffee or tea.
  • Replace the ground almonds with plain flour if you so prefer.
  • Instead of the TBSP of strong coffee, add a TBSP of instant coffee powder if you have it available.
  • Replace the coffee in the icing sugar with some milk and flavour with vanilla essence for a contrast in flavours, or add cacao to taste for a mocca cookie.
  • The icing sugar can be added to a cookie simply with a knife but a piping bag makes for a neat filling.

sablés au café 4 09-11-2013 13-32-056

The dough on the pastry mat. Be sure to always work with flour under your pastry to prevent sticking.

sablés au café 3 09-11-2013 13-46-059

Using a piping bag makes for neat cookies, but still with a home made feel..and of course taste!

sablés au café 2 09-11-2013 15-22-051

Une Parisienne

la parisienne  29-10-2010 12-23-55 1502x2148My Parisian umbrella always goes with me to Paris. A little bit of a cliché it is, but I love it. It depicts a typical Parisian street scene in winter(of course). a year or so back, I had my beautiful friend pose for me with the umbrella. She is the epitome of Parisian elegance, even though she doesn’t live there anymore.

la parisienne 2 29-10-2010 12-24-08 1621x2173

So, with these petits sablés and une ravissante Parisienne, peeking from behind her umbrella, I hope I could give you just  a little taste of Paris for today.

..à la prochaine fois..

Ronelle

Scottish shortbread.(Sablés ecossais)

I love sablés. with coffee or tea or on their own. You can’t go wrong with having sablés in your pantry/cookie tin. These round Scottish shortbread bring back happy memories, especially baked in these rounds and broken into triangles. Hope you like them too..

sablés écossais &

sablés écossais recette

Pincée de sel:

  • It can also be baked as squares, by rolling/pressing into a rectangular pan and cut into squares.
  • Piercing with a fork is tradition.
  • Try adding fresh thyme leaves or the tiny flowers(no hard stems) to the dough before rolling.
  • Try adding lavender flowers to the dough. (Be careful, as lavender can be very powerful.

..pinching a scolloped edge with the fingers, piercing with a fork and scoring into segments..

sablés écossais 2

..sprinkle with castor sugar..

sablés écossais 3

Recipe adapted from Cuisiner! 280 recettes: Larousse

A great film for other movie lovers like me…even though it isn’t weekend yet. Keep this film in mind. I am not sure whether it is available in English or with  subtitles, but it is truly a great film with great acting, great script, great directing.

..La source des femmes..

2013-10-23

..à la prochaine fois..

Ronelle