Banoffee in Verrine and a short Break

Well after long years of service my camera is broken ...snif, snif

maybe it's just a message from up there telling me that I needed a short pause from blogging ;-)

Well friends I'll be in a short break probably somewhere in London, somewhere in Rome, somewhere in Greece...I don't know yet. That's the fun of this trip nothing is prepared LOL See you all soon!!

Banoffee in Verrine
I call this recipe of mine an express one!

150 g of Speculoos or any biscuit of your choice (like graham)

50 g of melted butter

3 bananas

some lemon juice

4 tablespoons of Dulche de leche

30 cl of very cold fresh cream

3 tablespoons of icing sugar

some grated chocolate for decoration

Crush your biscuits and pour the melted butter. Mix well. Spoon this as the first layer of your banoffee in your verrine glasses. Peel and cut your bananas to avoid discoloration add some lemon juice. Add them on your verrine glasses. Put the a layer of dulche de leche over the bananas. In a bowl, whisk your fresh cream and make a chantilly. Add the sugar little by little. Put this as a last layer on your glasses. Decorate with some grated chocolate on top.

Cold Minestrone

My Mom Lied to us!!

Eat stringbeans and you'll grow intelligent but hey I still consider myself poor in Math. How about some carrots that she claims will make us grow taller, hello I still need to put some inches to be seen by others. Or her famous tomatoes that'll make our cheeks pinkish, that I discovered during teen age years that a blush-on can do the trick.

I don't remember how many casserole of lies she fabricated only to convince us to eat vegetables after all children have always aversion for them. The truth is, if not for those lies I would have never known vegetables: its' tastiness, its' nutrients, its' versatility and how it could be economical.

I am sending a bowl of this Cold Minestrone soup to talented Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook, the creator and the host of My Legume Love Affair # 15.

Cold Minestrone Soup
250 g of any pasta (macaroni, tortillini)

300 g of white kidney beans

2 zucchini
2 carrots
1 onion
8 pieces of basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic

some olive oil
salt and pepper


Soak the beans in cold water for twelve hours. Clean the zucchini and cut them. Wash and cut the rest of the vegetables in bite size pieces. Crush the garlic and chopped finely the basil leaves. Warm some olive oil in a casserole and sauté briefly all the vegetables except the zucchini and the beans. Then add the beans, the basil leaves and the garlic, pour afterwards about one and a half liter of water. Let it boil, then lower the fire and let it simmer for about an hour. Ten minutes before the final part of the cooking, add the zucchini,the pasta, salt and pepper. Finish cooking, then let it cool, serve with ice.

Papaya Brioche with cheese and farm eggs omelette and french tarragon bearnaise sauce

Are you promdi?

A few weeks ago, I got an eyebrow raising message from a friend telling me that I must be a "provenciana" now considering that I live in Provence which literally means province in french. And what is the big deal I just thought. It is so sad that the word province is often connotated with being naive, backward or ignorant. In Philippine lingo we have the term "promdi" to denigrate somebody coming from the province. I have been long time city dweller and somehow I understand this sort of rivalry. But honestly I really don't mind being coined as a "provenciana". Because this means living closer to the nature, breathing fresher air far from the hassle of the city and eating farm produced products. Yay isn't that better! Anyways I'm sure my friend meant no harm when she said that and besides France's Provençe isn't really that provincial.

And speaking of healthy food I just thought of conconting up this simple meal of fresh farm eggs omellette on home baked brioche with some tarragon bearnaise sauce for my Royal Food Joust entry.

My over burnt brioche......

My Papaya brioche before over burning ....

Papaya Brioche

400 grams of flour
1 sachet of yeast (about 10 g)
85 g of sugar
one and a half teaspoon of salt
3 egg yolks
24 cl of milk
100 g of dried papaya
70 g of butter
1 egg yolk + some milk for brushing the brioche

In a bowl put the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and egg yolks and add the milk little by little and continue mixing until they become homogenous. Add the butter and continue kneading the dough until they dont stick to the hands. Let this dough stand for an hour. Flatten the dough to release the air and add your dried papaya. Continue kneading again and let it raise for another hour. Butter your brioche mold and put the dough inside. Brush it with egg yolk and egg mixture. Pre heat the oven and bake it for 20 minutes at 200° celsius.
Cheese and Farm Eggs Omelette

3 large eggs
half a cup of grated gruyere cheese
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Beat the eggs and fold in the grated cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Warm up the pan and pour in the butter and olive oil. Lower the fire. Pour the eggs and cheese and cook it slowly.

French Tarragon Bearnaise Sauce

1 tablespoon of chopped tarragon leaves
2 egg yolks
100 g of butter
2 cl of wine vinegar
2 cl of white wine
1 small shallots chopped

In a casserole boil slowly the white wine, wine vinegar, shallots and tarragon leaves. Let them infused until the volume reduced. Let it cool then add the egg yolks beat them vigorously. Put back into the fire and continue whisking. Avoid making the eggs coagulate. Add the butter and continue whisking the sauce.

Daube Provencal (Beef Stew in Wine and Olives)

Digesting a bad news

The thing that I hate the most on watching news is that most of the time its only about bad news. As if we do not have too much trouble to worry about. But then again the scenario turns into a different perspective, when the news you get are the ones coming from your loved one. How I despise bad news. Yesterday, I felt so devastated after learning about a heart-breaking news from the email I got. You know that I'm so far away from my family, and the Internet always makes me feel so close to home--sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it's really bad.

The best thing to deal with problem is to be not too anxious about them! So to make me feel better, hubby had an excellent idea to bring us to to see the 40th celebration of Photography Festival in the historical city of Arles. It is one of the largest and the oldest in the region. Au rendezvous where numerous photo exhibits from the renowned photographers all over the world of all genre showcased all over the city
. The guest of honor is Delpire the talented artistic editor of Nouvel Observateur. Of course it was forbidden to take photographs so I just took some snaps of this beautiful city.

(From top left to right clockwise; bull graffiti, the main plaza, the window of an eccentric house close to the Mayors office and the church of Arles.)

(From top left to right clockwise; signage of a yellow hotel, a serving of daube provencal, a door knob and a photographer's graffiti.)

And on times like this nothing beats a comforting dish of Beef Daube Provencal. It's a family recipe that hubby's Grandmother taught me. It's a typical provencale meat dish slowly cooked in wine and olives. I'm sending this off to Family Recipes an event of family well loved dishes hosted by the The Spiced Life.

Beef Daube Provencale


1 kilo of boneless beef bottom round or chuck cut into bite size
half a kilo of beef short ribs or flanken
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of flour
1 teaspoon of melted butter
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 big onions chopped
2 big tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
one cup of green and black olives
one cup of white wine (or red wine)
one cup of beef broth
salt, pepper, bay leaf, fresh rosemary and thyme

Start by putting 1 tablespoon of olive oil on your meat, add some salt and pepper. Put the flour and toss it until the flour are evenly distributed. Heat the pan and put your melted butter and the rest of the olive oil. Fry briefly the beef to have that brownish golden color, add the garlic and onion. Continue stirring. Put the tomatoes, olives and deglaze it with the wine. Add the broth and cook it slowly on a crackpot. Add all the fresh herbes, salt and pepper.

Pain au lait

What I have to give up in the morning living here in France....

1. Those lousy morning perked up by the smell of strong coffee called Kapeng Barako that my dad used to boil over and over again...

2. The taste of hot pandesal buns freshly delivered by the neighbor spread with some Coconut jam, dunked into a hot coffee and ends up in my hungry mouth...

3. The delicious scent of (although this is subjective for in here they considered it stinky in the morning) dried fish served with garlic fried rice and sugar cane vinegar....

4. The busy and noisy neighborhood that I grew up where people peddle breakfast in the morning; champorado (chocolate rice pudding), fried noodles, rice based pastries, newspapers or even freshly catched gossip from the corner...:-)

Sigh...I have to give up all of these for a sweet, simple and soothing mornings of bread and jam. I am not complaining, let's just say an over baked croissant skinned girl in Europe was just simply yearning. And I guess only home-sick gourmet could understand what I am talking about.

I'm sending over some of these bread to Lore of Culinarty for her Original Recipes event. Don't miss to check the round-up!

Pain au Lait au fleur d'orange
Small Milk Bread with orange blossom water
for about 10 to 12 pieces

300 grams of flour (type 55) or about 2 and half cups
15 grams of fresh yeast
12.5 cl of milk (half a cup)
75 g of semi melted butter (about one stick)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of orange blossom water
1 egg yolk for brushing

Dissolve the yeast on your warm milk, then add 100 grams of flour, mix them and let it stand for about 30 minutes or until the yeast activates. Add the rest of the ingredients: flour, butter orange blossom water and salt. Mix them well. Knead the dough to let the air enter into the dough and make the gluten act. Let it rise for about an hour and half. Form ten or twelve small balls then make that oval shaped of the bread. Let it rise again for thirty minutes. Brush them with the egg yolk. Pre-heat the oven at 210° and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nectarine Raspberry Ice-cream Meringue Cake

Last week was intense. There were two birthday celebrations; a visiting Aunt's and my daughter's. Shopping list, cooking, baking and preparations were doubled for a twicer fun. Then there was death. Cory Aquino the Filipino influential political leader admired and respected by many passed away. Although I wasn't there to physically live the moment, the fang of sadness was all over me. In between these two emotions there were numerous last minute appointments before summer holidays begin, lots of paperwork to hand over to my boss and then there was also the Weekend Herb Blogging hosting. To make things even more challenging, Mayumi's nursery school is already in vacation since last week so I found myself juggling everything, hardly. (Whew.)

And ooops, I almost forgot. There was also my dad's presence whom I felt strongly at the eve of my little girl's birthday. Goosebumps, excitement or just simply burnout. I don't know how to explain it but I felt it. All that in a week of a roller coaster ride of emotions!
This week just started. Hoping for a much sluggish phase but with Mayumi around that seems to be futile!
This is my entry to WHB this week is hosted by lovely Anh of Food Lover's Journey. For more details on hosting and guidelines check out Haalo's Cook Almost Anything Blog, the new mother of WHB created by talented Kalyn.

Nectarine Raspberry Meringué Ice-Cream Cake

nectarine ice-cream
half a cup of nectarine purée
1 tablespoon of honey
half a cup of pounded praline (caramelized nuts)
3 big egg yolks

3 big egg whites

75 g of sugar

30 cl of heavy cream (very cold)

raspberry ice-cream
half a cup of raspberry purée
1 tablespoon of honey

3 big egg yolks

3 big egg whites

75 g of sugar
30 cl of heavy cream (very cold)

Procedure: It is the same preparation for the two ice-creams. First incorporat the honey on your purée. Then whisk the white eggs until they become stiff, you can add a pinch of salt to keep it stiff. In a separate bowl, beat your heavy cream until it forms a peak. Add the sugar little by little. Followed by egg yolks. Fold in the flavors (the purées, the praline). Mix altogether. Fold in the beaten egg whites delicately. For the nectarine flavored ice-cream add your meringué. Put this in ice-cream maker. If you do not have you can immediately proceed to assembly.

In a rectangulaire shaped mold cover it with plastic wrap. To facility un-molding the ice-cream cake. Pour the first flavor followed the second flavor. Put it in the freezer minimum 5 hours. Take out from the fridge twenty minutes before serving. Decorate it with some cream chantilly.
Enjoying her new fish...

Weekend Herb Blogging #195 the Round up

My freshly picked herbs this morning

Yes, I'm finally doing this, the gorgeous round-up for Weekend Herb Blogging! But first of all I would like again to thank Haalo for kindly helping me out with this hosting and all the Food blogging community for all your love and generosity!

Our first entry comes from none other than the talented Kalyn the creator of WHB and If you are a Basil lover her entry is a must to read. Her post gives a useful information about Basil and conserving them. I bet this is an interesting read.

Our next dish is from Anna of Morsels and Musings she concocted us an interesting dish of Milk Braised Porc Cavolo Nero. She beautifully explained this amazing vegetable Cavolo Nero, if you want to know more about it go check her post.

Third on the list is a vitamin packed dish prepared by the charming Daphne of More than Words, Honey Roasted Spiced Pumpkin and Carrot. I am a great fan of her blog because she always comes up with interesting recipes!

And to beat the heat of the summer, enjoy this delicious Herb Marinated Mozzarella Salad all the way from Switzerland made for us by Myriam of Once Upon a Cakestand. And I should say she's a regular to WHB for she adores veggies, fruits and herbs go check out her blog to admire it for yourself!

You will never look at eggplant the same way again after seeing how gorgeously my sweet sweet friend Anh of Food Lover's Journey concocted a simple and yet appetizing dish of eggplants. I know she's busy but she still managed to send me one and I truly appreciate it. By the way she's the host of WHB this week.

Sandeepa from Bong Mom's Cookbook prepared us something soothing and relaxing, Lime Balm Tea. What is so different from her tea is that they were made lemon balm herb freshly plucked from her garden. Don't forget to check out her post!

Lovely Katie from Eat This send us over a simple, healthy and yet delicious recipe of Refrigerator Pickles and Banana Pepper. I bet that title made you drool. If you want to know more about this appetizer go check her blog!

Minu of Chettinad Fiesta believes that greens have always a special place in their cooking because of their health benefits. And I totally agree with her. And what a way to celebrate this week's WHB through this mouth-watering spinach Indian dish called Keerai Masiyal is such a great discovery. Don't fail to visit her post!

Here's another delectable salad for the summer Fresh Pea Salad whip up by Jerry from Jerry's Thoughts. His post talked about useful information on selecting, storing and using fresh peas, indeed a must read!
The simplest recipes are always the best! Anna of Anna's Cool Finds simmered us this beautiful Cream of Celery Soup. Isn't that title refreshing? And I tell you she even bakes her own bread, hmmm. Well to enjoy more of her dish don't miss her post.

The talented Pam of Sidewalk Shoes whip us up an impressive Roasted Fish on Fennel Fronds. In her post she shared about the story of her "mysterious fish", so if you want to know more about this what are you waiting for go read her post.

Seafood and Miso Sour Soup, I am definitely sure you haven't heard nor tasted something like this before. The lovely Iska of Iskandals concocted us a mouth-watering Filipino specialty dish of sour soup. She beautifully used some local greens and ingredients to make this dish even more exciting. Don't miss her post!

Time for a drool worthy dessert! Let's enjoy this decadent Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-cream superbly made by Winnie of Blog Healthy Green Lifestyle. Her blog is not only about delicious recipes but also about healthy green living, surely a blog to drop by. And a big round of applause for accepting this week's challenge!

Have you ever heard of Elder Berry Jelly before? Well our talented blogger from italy Brii from Briiblog shared with us her much treasured recipe for this jelly. And to know more about this fruit don't fail to check her out!

I am so honored that Haalo of Cook Almost Anything concocted us a yummy and unique dessert of Dark chocolate Sponge and blue cheese. Yes you are not mistaken, Chocolate and blue cheese are deliciously perfect together. For more WHB guidelines and hosting schedules or simply interesting posts and photography don't miss her out.

If you love italian dishes you should surely not miss this refreshing vegetable Italian dish Salsina Modenese prepared to us with love by Cinzia from Cindy Star. This is a special recipe of summer vegetables from her grandmother. If you are curious to know more about this don't miss her post.

And lastly but not the least is this mouth-watering Summer Pudding of chocolate and raspberries concocted by sweet Gloria of Canela's Kitchen. For more of her fantastic creations don't fail to drop by at her kitchen. Gracias ma hermana!
And another one last entry, prepared to us by talented Oggi of I can do that, Tomatoes, Apples and Hazelnut Crisp. Isn't that healthy, yummy and original. She is one of bloggers I truly admire for she can always make something special and unique. Don't miss her blog.

That’s all! These indeed are all colorful entries for this week WHB. It was such a busy week for me and took a bit of time to compile. I hope you enjoy reading them and inspired to cook something tonight! Thanks again and see you all next week for another edition of WHB, which is gonna be hosted by Anh of Food Lover's Journey.