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Fresh Herb Bouquets | Summer Pasta with Corn | Overcoming Self-Deprecation | Bonnie Miller’s California Cottage


We’re off to spend a four-day weekend with R’s mother and Tuesday is Bastille Day here in France which I still, after all these years, have not seen the celebrations for! I’m really hoping to show Élie his first fireworks, especially since he loves saying “booo!” (boom) after any loud noise.

Have a wonderful weekend, long or short!

xo,

A.

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Lemon & Artichokes | egg & dart blog
Food & Recipes

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette | egg & dart blog

We’ve survived the heatwave.

Last week was rough. As I already bemoaned on Friday, we had several days of 100°F weather or nearly. It meant that I really had to think ahead and maximize those precious morning hours when I could have the windows open. But even so, it was just too hot to turn on the stove or the oven even in the morning some days.

Artichokes | egg & dart blog

Luckily I managed to come up with a pretty decent plan for the week and grouped all my cooking into Monday morning and just a few extras Thursday morning after the market. It really made such a difference not only to not have to risk raising the temperature when I had worked so hard to keep the heat out as much as possible, but also to have something cool and refreshing to look forward to at the end of the day.

Chilled Cucumber Soup | egg & dart blog

One meal in particular hit all the right notes for me: a chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup sprinkled with chives, Artichokes with a Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette, and toasts spread with goat cheese. What’s a soup without something to dunk after all? The soup, adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, is simply made in the blender and the artichokes I steamed on Monday and pulled out of the fridge a while before dinner to bring them to room temperature. A glass of rosé (always rosé) and I promise the depth of the heatwave will ease just a bit around you.

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette | egg & dart blog

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

adapted from Jamie Oliver Magazine

Serves 2

1 c. full-fat plain yogurt

juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cucumber, chopped

1 avocado, peeled and chopped

salt & pepper to taste

a small handful of chives, chopped

Place the first five ingredients in the blender in that order. Putting your liquids in first will help make blending easier. Blend until smooth adding a little water to thin if needed. Season to taste. Chill until needed. Serve with chives and a drizzle of olive oil over the top and toasts spread with goat cheese for dipping.


Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Serves 2

I love using both lemon juice and zest because the zest adds even more lemon flavor but has a softer, less acidic flavor.

2 globe artichokes

zest of 1/2 a lemon

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 scant tbsp.)

1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

as small handful of basil leaves to serve

Prepare the artichokes by removing the first few layers of tough leaves, chopping off the stem to make a flat bottom, and cutting the top flat as well. Trim the tips of any leaves that still have their thorns. Quarter each artichoke and rub them all over with a half of a lemon to prevent browning. Steam until the hearts can easily be pierced with the tip of a knife, about 30 minutes. Cool, then with a teaspoon, remove the choke from the heart of each quarter. Chill until needed.

To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, arrange the artichokes in a bowl on their backs so the hearts act like little bowls to catch the dressing. Pour the vinaigrette over the artichokes and top with fresh basil leaves.

Artichokes with Lemon & Fresh Basil Vinaigrette | egg & dart blog

Enjoy!

Any favorite cool dinner classics of yours I should know about?

xo,

A.

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Friday Postcard, Life, Our Home

Friday Postcard

Chive Blossom | egg & dart blog

It’s been too hot to think, and by extension, to blog. Several days hovering around 100°F and I hope the end is in sight for next week. In any case, it has been great for my cooking creativity and I’ve came up with a few make-ahead, serve cold meals that have refreshed and consoled us after scorching days. I’m planning on sharing one of my favorites on Monday!

The heat has also been great for the windowsill garden which I shade everyday with a kind of homemade plant tent. The biggest problem I’ve had over these past years living on the 6th and, now, 3rd floors is that the sun and wind currents just turn the soil to dust in no time. This year I decided to shade my plant babies on the hottest days and it’s been working wonderfully! Everything is growing in leaps by the day and I’m afraid they’ll just go right to bolting if we can’t eat them fast enough. It’s so amazing how much you can get out of such a small surface area.

I hope you’re staying cool where ever you are and happy Friday!

xo,

A.

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Amber Interiors | One Pan Pasta | Bordezac Bracelet | Mon Imagier de la Forêt


Today starts a heat wave here in France and heat always makes me nervous. I am such a Northerner. But I’ve got the apartment shaded, lemon sorbet in the freezer, and thank goodness for double pane windows, so we’ll be fine.

I was wrong about the yard sale last weekend – it’s this weekend! Opps. So I’m still looking forward to that and my list may have grown. Stay cool and happy Friday!

xo,

A.

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Frozen Raspberries | egg & dart blog
Food & Recipes

Mama Baby Smoothie | Creamy Raspberry Mango Smoothie

Raspberry Mango Mama Baby Smoothie | egg & dart blog

My little love sleeps late like Mama and Papa. Bless that baby. But it means that we don’t often have time in the day to have an afternoon snack or “goûter” like most French kids. Sometimes there is a spot to squeeze a little something into and we have been loving smoothies. Élie gets so excited for a treat and I can try to pack some extra nutrients into his day. We haven’t quite gotten to all having the same things at mealtimes, it will come, but smoothies are something we can share which is extra sweet.

My current favorite is this creamy mix of yogurt, raspberries, mango, and almond butter with a little maple syrup to sweeten. It tastes surprisingly like ice cream and, in fact, could be a quick version of that is you left out the water and used a food processor.You can try tweaking it too, add some fresh mint or maybe pineapple juice instead of orange. How about a dusting of grated chocolate if you’re feeling really indulgent?

Raspberry Mango Mama Baby Smoothie | egg & dart blog

Mama Baby Creamy Raspberry Mango Smoothie

Serves mama and baby generously

1/2 c. whole milk yogurt

1/4 c. fresh orange juice

1 1/2 tbsp. almond butter

1 c. frozen raspberries

3/4 c. chopped frozen mango

2 t. maple syrup

1/8 – 1/4 c. water

Place all the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Putting your liquid ingredients in first helps the machine blend the mixture. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Thin with water for baby. If you think your little one will be bothered by the raspberry seeds, you can strain the mix after thinning with water. Enjoy together, maybe with a good book?

xo,

A.

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Bianka Groves Ceramics | Summer Porches | Jerusalem: A Cookbook | Australian Beachcombing


Another week, flown by. The long hours of sunlight are, as usual, throwing us for a loop and we are always thinking it is earlier than it is!

This weekend our town holds a huge yard sale that I can’t wait to comb through! I have a list in had of what to look for, because I can never remember when facing all. that. stuff. What’s on your weekend list?

xo,

A.

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Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream | egg & dart blog
Food & Recipes

Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream [1×3 Ways]

Spring Strawberries | egg & dart blog

For this last recipe in the [1×3 Ways] Puff Pastry series I was really craving something light and fresh and full of the gorgeous strawberries of the season. Élie has been eating these by the handful and we have to sneak some for ourselves when he isn’t looking! They are just the right amount of sweet and so, so juicy. To pair with that, I had to have something equally refreshing and simple: mint whipped cream sounded perfect. Layers and layers of mint cream and strawberries: Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream.

Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream | egg & dart blog

Now, this is a really simple version of the beautiful classic millefeuille so don’t be afraid. You could easily make the pastry strips the day before and just stack up all the goodies just before serving. And to be honest, like all the recipes in this series, you can construct this any way you like! Make little individual tartlettes of the ingredients or just one large flat tart if you want it really laid-back. It’s really up to you. Either way, you really can’t go wrong with mint cream and fresh spring strawberries.

Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream | egg & dart blog

Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream

serves 4

– 1 x 250g package of puff pastry (thawed if frozen)

– 2 tsp. sugar

– 1 c. heavy or whipping cream

– scant 1/4 c. mint simple syrup*

– 1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced

– small handful of fresh mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 210°C / 410°F with your baking pan turned upside down in it. Preheating the pan with the oven will give you a beautifully crisp crust and turning the pan upside down will make it easy to slide the finished pastry off onto a cutting board. This is the same technique I use for pizza; using a pizza stone if you have one would be fantastic as well.

Roll the pastry out on a piece of lightly floured parchment paper the size of your baking tray to a roughly 9″/23 cm by 12″/30 cm rectangle. Sprinkle the pastry with the sugar and lightly roll your rolling pin across to push the sugar into the top of the pastry. Gently prick all over the pastry with a fork. Slice across width-wise to create 4 equal sized strips (roughly 9″/23 cm by 3″/7.5 cm strips). Gently reposition them so there is a little space between each and transfer the parchment and pastry to your hot baking tray using a small cutting board slid underneath to help you support it. Bake until puffed and golden and the sugar has melted and turned glossy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

To make the mint cream, whip the cream to stiff peaks using your preferred method (I like the blender but watch it like a hawk or you will end up with butter!). Adding it in two batches, gently fold the simple syrup through the whipped cream. Chill until needed.

To assemble, layer roughly 2 1/2 tbsp of mint cream on one of the pastry strips and top with 1/3 of the strawberry slices and a few small mint leaves scattered about. Place the next pastry strip gently on top and repeat the mint cream, strawberry, and mint applications. Repeat for a final layer then top with the fourth pastry strip. Serve immediately with the extra mint cream in a bowl on the table because can you ever have enough of that? Be sure to use your sharpest knife and lightest hand to serve.

* Mint Simple Syrup: Bring 1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. sugar to a boil with a handful of torn fresh mint leaves in a saucepan. Remove from heat and let infuse until the syrup has cooled. You can also use this on ice cream or mixed in sparkling water for a homemade soda.

Strawberry Millefeuille with Mint Cream | egg & dart blog

See the previous recipes in this edition of [1×3 Ways] Puff Pastry here: Roasted Red Pepper and Tapenade Tart & Gravlax and Whipped Chive Mascarpone Tartlettes

xo,

A.

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