Posts tagged ‘Orange’

August 30, 2011

Texture Tuesday::Touch of Autumn

by heatherkp

I feel a touch of autumn in the air now that Irene has blown through.  I finally had the urge last evening to pull out some knitting with the slight chill that was in the air.  It’s been a pleasure to turn off the air conditioning, throw open the windows and put a blanket on the bed.  This summer I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing more than a few butterflies of all sorts but the most unusual were the Monarchs, which I rarely see in our area and what a pleasure it has been.  Their warm, fiery orange hues are a foretelling of falls changing tree colors. We may not be in this area next fall (I’ll be sharing more news about our move soon!).  I expect to drink up each savory moment of Fall and the inevitable Indian summer this year.

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”

— Stanley Horowitz

Texture Tuesday:: Kim Classen’s Orange eDition  For this image I used a photo I shot of a monarch at the county fairgrounds Demonstration garden (purring my time volunteering I spotted this beauty) and two layers of textures from Kim.

February 11, 2011

Friday Field Trip::France II

by heatherkp

Since I didn’t get very far last week I’m happy to bring you a bit longer post today sharing with you some of the great food experiences we had and saw in Provence.

I was completely in love with the French markets.  It seems like practically every city and town has at least one market a week with a ton of fresh produce, fish, cheese, sausage and other meats, textiles, spices, flowers etc…who needs the regular store when you can get practically anything you need at the open air market.  And Everyone shops at them!  On market day it’s just a part of life to prepare your list, get your basket and bags out and head out to get what you need for the week (or half the week if your lucky enough to live in a larger city that has them twice weekly).  This way of life is so much more connected to agriculture and fresh food, it’s ingrained in the culture and I loved this aspect of the French lifestyle.  Look at all the lovely goodies that I saw at the markets in Orange, Marseilles and Avignon. French Farmers market finds

To start the trip out hour hostess’s landlady insisted on having us for a very special truffle omelet for dinner.   We were truly lucky to have such and exquisite home made meal in the home of a gracious and fun woman!  The process of preparing for this omelet required buying the fresh eggs and truffles at the weekly market and infusing the eggs with the truffles by some process of keeping the eggs in their shells and allowing the truffle essence to permeate the eggs.  It was divine.  We also had this incredible Spelt (that I have yet to locate in the US) served simply au pistou.  I’m still hoarding one last bag of it that I brought back.  It is much more nutty, sweet and delicate than the spelt whole grain you typically find in the US.   Another truly memorable dining experience (really they all were!) was the fresh daily croissant’s that our hostess went and got for us each morning.  Some days they were chocolate, some day’s almond and some days just plain.  Our typical breakfast was a croissant and plain delicious yogurt.  I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of that!  Every meal was delicious I think due to the truly fresh ingredients that are standard in Provence.  With the slightly mediteranean climate they have a pretty long growing season with not too many very cold spells.  We even got to experience the Mistral while we were visiting~Woosh!

Dining in Provence

And then of course there were the sweets!  So many delicious sweets, pastries, candies etc. we tried to restrain ourselves within reason but we did a lot of walking so we had a good excuse to indulge.  Probably my favorite though was the combination of chocolate and orange.  In the image below right are some green sugar coated chocolate orange candies that we found in a small Chocolatier in Saint-Tropez.  These candies were the inspiration for a cookie recipe I “invented” this week (I’m apparently not the first person to “invent” these but I’d never heard of them and didn’t look up any recipe for them before I concocted my version).  My gift to you this week is the recipe, below.  It’s a French inspired twist on Oatmeal cookies.

French Confections

Chocolate Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Yields about 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple or peach sauce (peach sauce-pureed steamed/canned peaches)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped candied orange rind (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or pieces (more chocolate can never be a bad thing)
  • Optional:  1/4 to 1/2 cup walnuts or hazelnuts in to replace some of the chocolate

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and apple or peach sauce; mix on high speed to combine.
  3. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed to combine, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer, and stir in dried fruits and chocolate (and optional nuts).
  4. Using a large metal scoop, drop dough onto prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden and just set, about 15 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer sheets to wire rack to cool completely.

If you have a favorite Oatmeal recipe you could adjust it to include the chocolate and orange in place of raisins and nuts etc.

Chocolate Orange Oatmeal CookiesBon Appetit!

February 4, 2011

Friday Field Trip::France

by heatherkp

This is part one of a series where I’ll be sharing photo’s from my trip to Provence 2 years ago.  I have been very inspired by all things French lately and I never fully explored the imagery and inspiration that was all around us on this trip.

Produce at the French farmers markets I spent about 10 days in Provence with a girlfriend from college and her sister who was living there at the time.  It was fantastic to have her as our guide since she was fluent in French and knew her way around.  It made it so easy for us to sit back, relax and enjoy the sightseeing. Here is some of the beautiful produce at the weekly market in Orange, radishes, frisee lettuce, cheese (I love how they are wrapped!) and truffles!  We were lucky enough to be there during truffle season and we enjoyed a lovely homemade meal with truffles (I’ll share more on that evening another day).

French Photography shop and sign

Isn’t this sign charming?  It hung way above the street corner and I’m certain it attracted more than the fair share of photographers attention (both inside the shop and out).  Who needs and ADT sign with this impressive steel gate announcing “Attention Au Chien”.  I never saw a dog but with a sign engraved in your  gate you are certain to be more safe with or without a dog!

I wanted to share a bit more with you today but it seems I have come down with some bug and am going to put myself back to bed momentarily but I wanted to kick off French February with a couple images from Orange, which was home base for us for our many day trips around Provence.