November 20, 2014

THE COOLEST CANDLES EVER

I have, well actually my mum has found the coolest candles ever. She gave these to James and me last year and I love the look of them so much, that today was the first time I actually lit them! They are handmade in the USA by the cute company Pollen Arts. Their candle designs are based off of different bottles and jars, made from 100% beeswax, and made with love by a husband and wife team. Oh and the coolest part is, these candles are made in a 1975 Winnebago in Arizona. I think they would make such a fun and unique gift for the Holidays. I know I will definitely be giving these out to some lucky recipients this Christmas.


Shop the entire collection here.

November 19, 2014

APPLE PUMPKIN & PECAN PIE



This weekend is Thanksgiving in America, woohoo party time! Since living in France I have yet to celebrate the Canadian or American Thanksgiving because it's just not done here. This year because we have finally settled in our home, I want to host and celebrate these special holidays a lot more. Last Sunday we had our own little version of Thanksgiving with James' family, and it was such a nice time to have everyone together and to give thanks. 

When I think of Thanksgiving the most frequent image that comes to my mind is... pumpkin pie. It is so American and just so appropriate to make on this special day. I have never in my life tasted pumpkin pie before, so I was a bit nervous to make it then end up not liking it. So I searched for a recipe that had other elements I loved, like apples and pecans. This recipe I found looked and sounded so decadent, I chose it as our signature dessert for the big feast. It was such a hit! Everyone loved it, even my brother in-law who hates anything sweet. It is such a great twist on an old classic, and I highly recommend you make it for your family this weekend.

Apple Pumpkin & Pecan Pie

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 2 hours 15 minutes
makes: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS
Pie Crust:
1 prepared pie dough round
1 large egg white

Pecan Pie Filling:
1 1/3 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
Pinch fine salt

Apple Pie Filling:
3 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1 cup pure pumpkin or butternut squash purée
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I mixed together cinnamon and nutmeg)

Unsweetened whipped cream, to serve

Equipment: 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Pie weights, uncooked rice or dried beans.

INSTRUCTIONS

For the crust: Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Roll the pie dough out, if needed, into a 10-inch round on a lightly-floured surface (or between two pieces of floured parchment paper). If the dough gets too warm, refrigerate it to firm up. Ease the dough into the prepared pie pan. Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp the edges as desired. Chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and bake until golden and toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and separate 1/3 cup; coarsely chop the 1/3 cup pecans for garnish and set aside.

Put the pie pan on a baking sheet and line the chilled pie crust with foil or a large coffee filter and fill with pie weights. Bake until the edges are just barely golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the foil with weights, then brush the bottom and edges of the dough all over with the egg white and continue baking until the bottom of the crust is also just barely golden, 8 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. (Par-bake your pie shell up to 1 day in advance.)

For the pecan pie filling: Scatter the remaining 1 cup pecans in the bottom of the cooled pie shell. Whisk the corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, egg and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the pecans. Bake until just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pie to a rack until cool to the touch.

For the apple pie filling: Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Toss with the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add the apples and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cool completely. (Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet in a thin layer to help cool faster).

Pile the cooled apple mixture up and around the edge of the cooled pie (directly on top of the pecan filling) leaving about an 8-inch well in the center of the pie.

For the pumpkin pie filling: Whisk together the pumpkin, heavy cream, granulated sugar, egg and spice in a medium bowl. Pour the filling into the center of the pie (directly on top of the pecan filling) with the apples as a border.

Bake the pie until the pumpkin center is set with just a slight jiggle, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the crust gets too brown, cover with foil or a pie crust shield. Let the pie cool completely on a rack.

Sprinkle the reserved 1/3 cup chopped pecans around the pie, snug up against the apple filling. Slice and serve with dollops of whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


This delicious recipe is from Food Network Kitchen

November 18, 2014

SÉZANE WINTER JACKETS

It's not quite jacket weather yet in the South of France. I am still getting by wearing just a sweater and scarf to keep warm. But I know those colder days are not far off, so I am searching for a nice new jacket to bundle up with this Winter. I am still in love with my long black Mackage coat, but am looking for something a little more fun and different... enter Sézane. I love their selection of coats and jackets this season, and they would be perfect for the not so cold Winters we are lucky enough to have here. I want, I need and I have to have all of them, too bad for me I don't have an endless budget. Seriously though I don't know which one to choose, which one should I get? 
Check out the full collection here.





November 17, 2014

LAVENDER LEMON COOKIES



My lavender obsession continues on with these delicious little lavender cookies. I rarely make or even eat cookies, but because I am on a mission to find different ways to use my dried lavender, I attempted to add them into a yummy biscuit. They turned out so much better than I thought, the pairing of lavender and lemon is such an unexpected taste in a cookie, so good!



Lavender Lemon Cookies

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10 minutes
makes approximately: 12 cookies

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup  self rising flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
1 stick butter softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoon dried lavender flowers

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350°F | 175°C
2. In a food processor pulse the flour, sugar, lavender and baking soda together to mix.
3. Then add butter and lemon zest, and pulse together to combine. Finally add honey and lemon juice and mix again just until all ingredients are combined.
4. Take a small amount of dough in the palm of your hand, and roll to form a ball. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten dough balls out and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Try them with my Lavender & Honey tea, the perfect pairing. On Saturday we enjoyed them with vanilla ice cream with some friends. But really, any way you eat them you will enjoy them every time.





November 7, 2014

A GLIMPSE


Happy Friday! This week flew by for me, which is surprising because most days I was cooped up inside because of the crazy rain. Seriously, when it rains it pours here. So much so, that the main beach road (Boulevard du Midi Louise Moreau) was completely flooded and blocked off for a couple days. The one thing I do love about the rain is the crazy beautiful skies it makes the next day. This week I spent some time in between the showers snapping the photos above. So beautiful right?Hopefully this weekend clears up a bit, so James and I can spend some time outside. Tomorrow we are having brunch at a great place in Cannes called Le Pain Quotidien, then exploring little charming villages. Then Sunday we want to have a lazy morning at home, then take the dogs for a hike in the afternoon. Ah, how I love the weekends! Do you have any fun things planned?In case the weather isn't so nice for you this weekend, here are some things to keep you busy... A homemade terrarium, my recipe for butternut squash pasta, and a little pick me up.Bon weekend!

LAVENDER & HONEY TEA

The cooler weather has finally hit Cannes which I am surprisingly excited about. With the cold weather comes knit sweaters, cozy fires, hot water bottles and my personal favourite, a lot of tea drinking. I typically stick to the classics, you know, green tea, earl grey, chamomile. But since the summer I have been left with jars of dried lavender flowers, one of the many perks of living in France. I have been wanting to use some of it up and try to make lavender tea for the first time. I just made it this morning and it tasted so good! So I of course had to share it with you, so you can try it for yourself.


Lavender & Honey Tea

makes: 1 pot

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
2 - 3 cups of boiling water
1 teaspoons of honey (or as much or you like)

Add lavender to your tea pot and pour boiling water over them. Steep for about 4 minutes.
Strain your tea into a teacup and add honey. Enjoy!

Try also adding dried lavender flowers to favourite tea, it would be great in chamomile. I am going to try it with a cup of earl grey this afternoon.




November 4, 2014

HAND AND HAND

With my search always on for beautiful and unique French brands, I was bound to come across HAND AND HAND sooner rather than later. Sabrina Benlemqawanssa is the mastermind behind the handcrafted jewelry line, which she established just this year. Each piece is made from carefully selected raw materials and recycled jewels she discovers on her world travels. So not only is she creating beautiful jewelry, each piece has a unique story.

"The brand offers a wide choice of handcrafted designs that merge different elements from the world while maintaining a relaxed and elegant style. Just like our mood, which is constantly changing, Hand and Hand creates varying pieces for an independent woman who is confident to experiment with her style. The jewelry complements this strong, modern woman. She knows what she wants; Hand and Hand simply helps her find the pieces which suit her personality."
















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