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Archive for February, 2010

I discovered Simon’s Cat not long ago and I can’t resist: I want more!!

So here is another one, just for a bit of a laugh.

Chouchenn? Did someone say Chouchenn? 🙂

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What is more classical than a chocolate mousse for dessert? The following recipe gives an original spin on an old-favourite.

The harmonious mix of salt and dark chocolate is a perfect way to tease guests’ taste buds at the end of a friendly dinner in. And it reminds me of my after-school snacks of thick slices of bread spreaded with salted butter and dark chocolate pieces. Hmmmm…

Drizzling extra virgin olive oil on top of the dessert contributes to give the recipe its unique twist, with the added health and nutrition benefits of olive oil.

The use of a sweet-flavoured olive oil, from the Catalan region for example, will emphasize the gentle contrast between salt and chocolate.

Serves 8 – Preparation time 25min, resting time 12hours.

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ litre milk
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla stick
  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Very thin slices of toasted white bread
  • Maldon salt

Sauce:

  • 100g raspberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 drop lemon juice

Boil the milk with the vanilla stick. Mix together the yolks and sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the boiled milk little by little. Place over heat. Simmer until obtaining a light custard sauce texture. When the custard is ready, add the pieces of chocolate to the saucepan and simmer to melt the chocolate into the custard sauce.

Leave it to set for 12 hours in the fridge.

 Sauce:

Crush the raspberries with sugar and lemon juice and strain (or not, depending on your taste) the sauce.

Shape the dessert with two dessert spoons into a round ball and place two quenelles on a plate. The term quenelle is used to describe the decorative shape of the portions – a neat, three-sided oval (a bit like a mini rugby ball!) formed by smoothing the mixture between two dessert spoons. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle lightly the top of each quenelle with Maldon salt. Crown the quenelles with a comb of toasted bread and drip raspberry sauce all around.

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Feed the cat!

Please, feed the cat 🙂

and another one because it’s just too cute.

There are so many more. Go check out Simon’s cat 🙂

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Among other things, what depress me most during winter is the cold, and the dark, and the wind. I don’t like snow anymore. I am disgusted by snow. How can it be that I never noticed before how cold and wet snow is? I mean so wet!

Oh, I’m quite sure I’m not the only one who’s thinking that. What on earth is going on? I mean, last year, the cold only really settled about now, didn’t it? And this year, it’s been real cold for what, like the last three months? And from where we stand we could be in for another… 2 months?

Argh…

So not only winter affects your mind, you go all depressed, moping around like a wet mop, but it really does nothing for your sex drive – what is left to us in those months of recession, I’m asking you. Lately, getting dressed to go to bed is taking me almost as much as long as getting dressed up in the morning.

A perfect symmetry!

Track-suit bottom (but cotton-made), socks (special bed socks), t-shirt – the anti sex! And then you slip under the sheets and it’s even colder! It’s so cold that the mere thought of removing one piece of garment is just intolerable.

What’s a girl to do, I wonder?

Well, there we go, my tactics to beat the Winter Blues:

  • First, you shall make a list of ll the things you’ve been wanting to do and see and prioritise – say, take your New Year’s resolutions.
  • And then do it! Even things as stupid as booking your next doctor / dentist appointment which you have postponed endlessly works. Takes 5 minutes (five) – but it makes you feel like you’ve achieved something.
  • Go to the hairdresser. Why? Because you will always feel better after being pampered and looked after (even for a wash and a blow-dry) for 30min.
  • Get your favourite boots fixed!
  • Go shopping. Even online shopping makes wonders on a gal’s spirits.
  • Plan your next weekend away / your next holiday / your next outing to the cinema, an exhibition, etc. It gives you things to look forward to.
  • Go out and meet new people: sign-up for a book club, a wine club, whatever turns you on!
  • Have a square/a piece of chocolate every day.

I can’t find anything else at the very moment. But those do work. I’m just back from the hairdresser 🙂 I’m still cold (where are my gloves?) but, I’m writing my blog again!

If you have any other suggestions or tricks you use to lift your mood, that’s why the comments are for, please feel free to add whatever advice you find is working.

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Here is a nice recipe I came accross. 🙂

Creamy tomato soup is a classic, but this easy recipe will tantalise everyone’s taste buds. Ripe tomatoes are essential to whip up the tastiest soup, and are found easily at local markets.

To enrich the consommé and give it its silky, creamy texture, whisking in extra virgin olive oil at the end will also give complexity to the flavour.

The use of a sweet-flavoured olive oil, from the Aragon region of Spain for example, will balance the potential acidity of the tomatoes. Fresh basil leaves placed on the edge of the bowl will add an aesthetic touch to the dish.

Serves 8 – cooking and preparation time: 30 minutes

 Ingredients:

  •   1 ½ kg tomatoes – washed and cut into pieces
  •  1 potato – washed, peeled and cut into pieces
  •  2 leeks – washed and cut into pieces
  •  2 tbsp rice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt

 To finish:

  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Wash the tomatoes, leeks and potatoes and cut them into small cubes.  

Place the vegetables into a large pan with the olive oil, sugar, salt, and the rice.

Cover the ingredients with water, bring to the boil and cover with a lid.  Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables have softened. 

 Allow to cool slightly and blend to a smooth consistency.  Strain to get rid of any remaining lumps. All tomato skins and seeds should be removed so all what remains is a smooth, creamy consommé.

 Re-heat to regain its colour, check the seasoning and add the olive oil.

 Serve hot in consommé cups or bowls.

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 And here we go for the last bits:

  • You express personal opinions in a plural: “Sweety and I, we love the X factor”. “Sweety and I, we don’t like George Bush.”
  • And when he is there, you add: “don’t you Sweety?”
  • You agree with him very often.
  • When you go out from the lift, men let you go first.
  • When you take the Tube, youths get up and give you their seat.
  • You don’t know when are the school holidays.
  • You say “youths” instead of “teenagers”.
  • You think youths are very noisy.
  • Dinner with friends have replaced going out and partying till the end of the night.
  • When you’re asked for a last drink at midnight, you answer: “It’s not very sensible, I have a meeting/school run tomorrow morning.”
  • In night clubs you find the music very loud whereas the DJ hasn’t arrived yet.
  • The day after a night out you have rings under your eyes.
  • The day after a night out, you stay home in pyjamas with herbal tea.
  • You don’t claim to be anti-beauty surgery anymore. You even think Demi Moore is very well maintained.
  • You can’t lose weight by downing back three pots of Nutella anymore. Now you have to eat fish and vegetables.
  • You know where to find the vegetables in the supermarket, you even know their names.
  • Your fridge is full
  • You’re not asked for your ID when you buy cigarettes or alcohol.
  • You are flattered when they refuse to sell you alcohol when you don’t have your ID.
  • Same applies for night clubs.
  • You prefer hotels rather than camping, it’s more comfortable.
  • You think about the future
  • You think about your pension
  • Your banker starts considering you as a potential client, not a potential thug.
  • You think your mother is actually right.
  • When your mother talks, you listen to her.
  • Physically you look more and more like our mother.
  • And morally too.
  • You have a dishwasher.
  • You think it’s a shame getting up at 1pm on a Sunday, it shortens the day too much.
  • Bands we used to listen when we were young are either vintage, worshipped, split, or dead. Or the four at the same time, like Nirvana.
  • You think it was better before.
  • You are obsessed with your age.

🙂

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