Loving

Loving List

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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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Loving

Loving List

Loving-List-5-19-15

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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Loving

Loving List

Loving-List-6-12-15Classic Kitchen Redesign | Charley Harper Memory Game | Chocolate Chip Cookies | Susan Connor Textiles (Mavenhouse Collective)


When it rains, it pours as they say. I so missed posting here this week but some work projects have taken all my free minutes. But I hope things will be back to normal next week! Can we chat then? I’m have the final puff pastry installment for you Monday, too!

How has your week been? Even better, what are you looking forward to this weekend?

xo,

A.

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Friday Postcard

Friday Postcard

Belgian garden path | egg & dart blog

We are roasting in Paris today, it is supposed to get up to 91°F. Not at all this Mainer’s cup of (iced) tea. And maybe for that reason the internet is cutting in and out (mostly out) every few minutes making my loving list plans impossible. So let’s take it easy today and let Newton up there lead us into the garden for the weekend, ok? I thought you might find that a good plan.

I seem to always have around-the-apartment projects on my weekend list but I also have knitting on there this weekend. This past week I managed to finish a knit that I’ve had hanging around for three years and that means I can justify starting something new! What do you have on your weekend list?

xo,

A.

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Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog
Art, design, Visiting France

Visiting Le Chateau de Malmaison

Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog

May was full of not only long weekends here in France, but a strange mix of weather highs and lows. The weekend of (American) Mother’s Day corresponded to a summery high that made you feel like you were on vacation in your own town. I had wanted to visit Josephine Bonaparte’s home at Malmaison for a few years but the timing was never right – Malmaison is known for its roses and I really wanted to visit when they were in bloom. Unfortunately, we were a mere two weeks early for the roses that weekend but that didn’t bother us in the least because what we discovered was a fascinating building surrounded by wildflower lawns and bordered by a beautiful bois (wood).

Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog

The Chateau de Malmaison is not big like Versailles or perfectly conserved like Chenonceau but what makes it worth a trip is its visitable size (you aren’t completely exhausted by the end) and its fascinating history. Many chateaux in France are furnished as they may have been or were during the French renaissance or before but the Bonapartes’ chateau is from a much younger period and one that you don’t often see in such a context. Bought by Josephine while Napoleon was in Egypt, the chateau was decorated almost completely around the theme of military campaigns (albeit, the very rich and fashionable version) and classical and Egyptian motifs. This influence is in every detail – the arrow shaped curtain rods, the x-benches used throughout, the striped wall hangings – but what I found most striking were the wonderful and saturated color combinations in so many rooms.

On the first floor, one of the first rooms you visit is the billiard room which happened to be my favorite palette in the house – that wonderful verdigris green contrasted with the vibrant orange. Then the music room with cobalt blue walls lined with saturated red upholstered furniture trimmed with black. And everywhere, even on Josephine’s harp, the military detailing.

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On the other end of the first floor, past the dining room, are Napoleon’s council room and library where the military imagery is on full display, the council room being swathed in draped striped fabric to mimic a military tent ornamented with regal eagles, lions, and mythical creatures.

Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog

When Napoleon and Josephine divorced, she kept Malmaion and lived there until her death. The upper floor is a mix of rooms that show her softer, simpler style and spaces that were converted to exhibition rooms after the house became a museum. On display are stunning collections of hand-painted china she commissioned displaying scenes of Egypt, artworks she collected from both classical and contemporary artists, and David’s original painting of Napoleon Crossing the Alps (originally commissioned by the King of Spain, four versions were eventually made).

Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog

The gardens around the chateau were converted to the English style by Josephine and remain beautifully simple and natural, much of the lawns being taken over by wildflowers. The gardens are also home to some remarkable trees, brought back from Napoleon’s travels.

Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog IMG_9582 Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog Chateau de Malmaison, France | egg & dart blog

While the Chateau de Malmaison is not the grandest castle, it is worth the visit on a longer trip to France for the uniqueness of its story and interiors. Access is very easy and parking is right next to the castle. But be sure to plan some time to visit the Bois-Préau next to it, planning a lunch picnic there is a great idea, because it will only add to the enchantment of the visit which truely feels like you’ve escaped Paris for the afternoon. Oh, be sure to take the well-done audio guide that is included in the price of admission. Although, you may be required to share as Romain was!

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Chateau de Malmasion and Bois-Préau

Avenue du château de Malmaison
92500 Rueil-Malmaison

xo,

A.

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