Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baby Shower!!!!

This is a late post but I wanted to share the pictures of the baby shower I had  for my beautiful daughter, Avalon.  She now has a happy, healthy baby girl!  What a fun time we had!


Flower Balls

Flowers from House of Stems
Yes, we do!!  

Paper Flowers             

Cake from Extraordinary Desserts   
So excited!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Four Agreements

My dear friend, Pia introduced me to the the Four Agreements this weekend. She lives her life by these four "rules". Four simple and powerful ideas from Mexican author and shamanic healer Don Miguel Ruiz's book The Four Agreements:

1. Be impeccable with your words: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

(This really hit home with me. How often do I speak ill of myself or get caught up in office gossip...too often, I'd say!)

2. Don't take anything personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

(Again, this is a huge one. If someone is having a bad day or not being kind, why do I think they might be mad at me?)

3. Don't make assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

( know what they say about assuming ~ it makes an ass out of u and me!)

4. Always do your best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

(Et, voila! Just what Mom always told me - just do your best!)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Duck Confit

We buy a lot of this when in France. It is one of Frenchie's favs. We simply spread it over toasted baguette. On a side note: there is nothing better than frying your potatoes in duck fat! Per Wikepedia, Duck confit (French: confit de canard French pronunciation: ​[kɔ̃.fi d(ə) ka.naʁ]) is a French dish made with the leg of the duck. While it is made across France, it is seen as a speciality of Gascony. The confit is prepared in a centuries-old process of preservation that consists of salt curing a piece of meat (generally goose, duck, or pork) and then cooking it in its own fat. To prepare a confit, the meat is rubbed with salt, garlic, and sometimes herbs such as thyme, then covered and refrigerated for up to 36 hours. Salt-curing the meat acts as a preservative. Prior to cooking, the spices are rinsed from the meat, which is then patted dry. The meat is placed in a cooking dish deep enough to contain the meat and the rendered fat, and placed in an oven at a low temperature (76 – 135 degrees Celsius/170 – 275 Fahrenheit).[1][2] The meat is slowly poached at least until cooked, or until meltingly tender, generally four to ten hours. The meat and fat are then removed from the oven and left to cool. When cool, the meat can be transferred to a canning jar or other container and completely submerged in the fat. A sealed jar of duck confit may be kept in the refrigerator for up to six months, or several weeks if kept in a reusable plastic container. To maximise preservation if canning, the fat should top the meat by at least one inch. The cooking fat acts as both a seal and preservative and results in a very rich taste. Skipping the salt curing stage greatly reduces the shelf life of the confit. Confit is also sold in cans, which can be kept for several years. The flavourful fat from the confit may also be used in many other ways, as a frying medium for sautéed vegetables (e.g., green beans and garlic, wild or cultivated mushrooms), savory toasts, scrambled eggs or omelettes, and as an addition to shortcrust pastry for tarts and quiches. A classic recipe is to fry or grill the legs in a bit of the fat until they are well-browned and crisp, and use more of the fat to roast some potatoes and garlic as an accompaniment. The potatoes roasted in duck fat to accompany the crisped-up confit is called pommes de terre à la sarladaise. Another accompaniment is red cabbage slow-braised with apples and red wine. Duck confit is also a traditional ingredient in many versions of cassoulet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Life is Good

I really want to keep up my blog but spend so much time studying. As some of you know, I was laid off of a 20 year job in June and have been in school reinventing myself. I love it and look at this whole experience as an opportunity!

I just landed a part-time temporary job at a large law firm downtown. I'm so excited to be actually working in the new field. I'm staying strong and determined...Life is good!

I hope you are all doing well. Miss you!



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Le Gite

Gite: n. A simple, usually inexpensive rural vacation retreat especially in France

We stayed in this lovely 3 bedroom gite on our last trip to France. The owners converted an old farmhouse and made 3 rentals out of it. It was beautifully located on an organic farm on the outskirts of Pelissane (Provence, France).

Jean Louis was able to ride his bike every morning to the local boulangerie for his daily pain au chocolat. It was close enough to also ride bikes to his parents home.

Notice the old fountain on the patio. Can't wait to go back!

Friday, October 15, 2010

French Tarragon

French tarragon deserves a place in every cook's garden. I was thrilled to find a beautiful healthy starter plant at the Farmers Market in La Jolla. The sweet girl selling it said they are really hard to start and the secret to growing them was to add coffee grounds to the soil.

My research shows that it likes full sun and dry soil. It's perfect for a container garden due to it's need for a drier root system.

It pairs well with fish, egg and chicken dishes. I love it in soups!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pass the Pastis

Frenchie and his Father having a "pastaga" in Provence. Pastis is what the french have as an imperitif. For an intersting article click here.