Thursday, 23 November 2017

Birthday Celebration!

Oh, what can I say about sweetheart? A million good things, but to describe him I borrow the most beautiful words from the dictionary UNIQUE and NOBLE. I like his humble and generous manner, his reserved and funny ways (he makes me laugh so much), but, above all, I love this man because he puts a smile on my face and loves me just the way I am: imperfect, but perfect in his eyes!!

I prepared a small and simple celebration for his birthday…and I just couldn’t stop myself from posting it! I hope you enjoy.

I set a neutral colours lunch table and decorated it with flowers from our local market.

An amazing “Brassica Oleracea”

“White Lisianthus”  symbolises joy, gratitude and charisma…And I added a few decorations with the inscription Live, Laugh, Love…

As a gift, I offered him a book “You can’t win” by Jack Black and a decorative desk tidy...

For the menu, a mushroom risotto. This revisited Italian classic brings together two species of mushroom (Paris and Chanterelle mushrooms) in a creamy risotto, enhanced by the aroma of tarragon.

I prepared a chocolate cake, the same one I made for my birthday, but topped it with fresh exotic fruits and we had some bubbly…

To my surprise, sweetheart arrived home with this amazing arrangement of Autumn flowers for me…I loved these warm coloured flowers!!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Spéculoos and Raspberry Tiramisu Verrines

I made these Tiramisu verrines for a dinner in early July. This is a very light dessert, this version of the famous tiramisu with raspberries and Spéculoos is a real pleasure for the eyes and the taste buds!

Recipe adapted from the French magazine “Journal de Femme”

Ingredients for 4 persons:
250g mascarpone (I used Galbani)
2 eggs (I used organic)
50g sugar
16 Spéculoos biscuits (I used the Lotus brand)
1 untreated lemon (zest)
400g fresh raspberries

In a bowl, mix the egg yolks with 25g of sugar until frothy; then add the mascarpone and the lemon zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon until you get a homogeneous cream.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 25g of sugar, then stir them very gently, with a spatula, into the rest of the preparation.

Reserve some raspberries for decoration and crush the rest with a fork.

To assemble
Take 4 verrines (200 ml) line the bottom with a layer of 2 crumbled Spéculoos biscuits, add a layer of crushed raspberries and cover with a layer of mascarpone.

Repeat the process: Spéculoos biscuits, raspberries, mascarpone. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Refrigerate for at least five hours.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Coeurs Silencieux by Anne Brécart (2017)

My thoughts: As I mentioned in my “October Monthly Round Up”, I have so many books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. But, as I am a passionate soul, whenever a book captures my attention, I take it home. Thus, I borrowed “Coeur Silencieux” by Anne Brécart from my local library. This Swiss author is a wonderful discovery. I finished this book in two days and can’t stop thinking about it. This will be one of those books that stay with me forever. It is a reminder of what love life is like; there are no bad decisions, just appropriate ones, made at that particular stage in our life.

In “Coeurs Silencieux” the narrator observes what time is doing to emotional attachments and she explores what is no longer and what remains unaltered: the old emotions, the links re-emerging from the mists of time.

This is an elegant and delicately written novel. I loved the nostalgia that this story evokes; the book oscillates between the old days and the present. The narrator, Hannah, is a woman in her fifties who, after a divorce and two grown up children, decides to return to the village of her childhood, using the excuse of the sale of her mum’s house. Upon her arrival, she is welcomed by Jacob, the sweetheart of her adolescence. They met forty years earlier; she was a 14 year old teenager and Jacob a 21 year old young adult teacher. Jacob entrusts her with the diary where he recorded the two years of their love story. Despite the forty years spent apart, Hannah succumbs again to this silent and mysterious man with ambivalent behaviour.